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Interior minister: Suspects in attack on Donetsk bank were initially prepared for murder

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Jan. 3, 2012, 5:14 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine
Ukrainian Interior Minister Vitaliy Zakharchenko has said that people who were detained on suspicion of making an attack on a PrivatBank branch in Donetsk, in which five people were killed, were initially prepared to commit murder. "If people did not hide their faces, they initially intended to commit murder," he said at a briefing in Kyiv on Tuesday.

He said that such intentions could be proved by a number of factors, including by the testimony of the detainees themselves.

"We think that this [murder] would have happened, and this is evidenced by their testimony," Zakharchenko said.

He said that the detainees were not bank employees and that they installed video surveillance systems in the bank.

Zakharchenko said that in 2007, a private firm won a tender to install video surveillance systems in this PrivatBank branch. The minister said that one of the detainees installed CCTV systems in this branch of the bank.

He said that this work had to be completed as early as 2010, but in 2011 it became clear that video cameras were not capturing all of the facts, and therefore these people should have eliminated these technical problems. Thus, the suspects entered the bank.

"The security guard, who knew them in person, let them in. Prior to that, they began installing video surveillance systems," he said.

"In fact, these men were not masked to commit a crime," Zakharchenko said.

He said that after an alarm system was triggered, the attackers were scared and this also served as a reason for them to open fire on people.

"They had a nervous breakdown, and they began to use firearms," the minister said.

As reported, an attempt to rob a PrivatBank branch in the center of Donetsk was made at about 1500 on December 29. The robbers killed five people. According to the bank's press service, all of those killed were bank employees. The Ukrainian Interior Ministry said that one of the victims was an employee of a private security firm.

According to Channel 5, the attackers did not take the money, and only a video surveillance camera disappeared.

PrivatBank offered a reward of UAH 1 million for information helping solve the crime.
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