Serhiy Kotenko, who is suspect in the criminal case in beating journalist Tetiana Chornovol, said that he was taken along for a ride by two men interested in buying his car and testing it out, the Ukrainska Pravda online publication reported, referring to Hromadske TV. Now he is a witness in the case.
He said in an interview with Hromadske TV that two young men were staying in his car and he was on the back seat.
“I sold the car. Buyers arrived. They called me several days ago and on that day we agreed to meet at 11:00 at the Khreschatyk subway station, near buses.”
“They got into the car, showed their driving licenses and money. They proposed to have a ride. I’m not afraid of anything. They asked me if they can drive the car. I told them that they can,” Kotenko said.
He said that those men were called Roman and Andriy. He does not know their last names. He did not know them. Kotenko got to the back seat of the car.
“We went to the Boryspil highway from Kharkivske Shose. I don’t know if someone moved across us with a car or not. We went to the Boryspil highway and turned to the right where private houses are located. We passed the inhabited section,” he said.
“I asked them where we’re going. They told me that we’re leaving now. We went through the filling station very quickly and reached the U-turn. They told me that we’ll make the U-turn and we’ll go back,” Kotenko added.
“I don’t know who came across whom, but there was a knock from the right side… I started crying – What are you doing? – I thought that I was cheated and that they will drop me off, say that the car is beaten, give the money and tell me to go away,” he said.
“I started crying, while they told me using swear words to stay on the back seat. I’m an ordinary guy and what can I do? I was seating on the back seat and was in terror of life,” Kotenko said.
Asked what happened when they left the car and how long they were absent, Kotenko said that they were absent for several seconds, from five to 10 seconds. Then they got into the car with the words: “Your car is beaten, we’ll settle it.”
“I did not hear a word anymore,” Kotenko said.
Asked how young people could beat a person for such a short period of time, Kotenko said that these men could do this.
“I think that they are boxers. One had his nose broken. I can describe them well, but no one asked me to describe them. They shortly asked me about them, but without description,” he said.
“We took the highway. I was on the back seat bending down. I was afraid that they do something to me. We entered Brovary. The men left the car without saying a word and went away. I started shouting that I will call the police, but they did not even turn around,” Kotenko said.
He also added that then he went to his friend Andriy Nasikovsky. They talked about this, Kotenko went to bed and at 1000 in the morning Nasikovsky called a taxi for Kotenko.