Europe

Ukraine murders: Puzzle over Kharkiv beheadings

  • 17 December 2012
  • From the section Europe
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Police in Ukraine are investigating the beheading of a judge and his family, but so far have few clues in the case.

The headless bodies of Judge Vladimir Trofimov and his wife, as well as their son and his girlfriend, were found at their home in the eastern city of Kharkiv. The heads were missing.

Ukraine's interior minister and general prosecutor flew to Kharkiv on Sunday.

Police said the murders might be connected to the judge's work, or to his extensive collection of antiques.

Mr Trofimov, 58, was well known for collecting rare coins, World War II medals and china statuettes.

Some antiques were reportedly missing.

The other victims were Mr Trofimov's wife Irina, 59, their son Sergei, 30, and his girlfriend Marina Zoueva, 29.

The case recalls the murder of Georgy Gongadze, an investigative journalist, in 2000, says the BBC's David Stern in Ukraine.

Mr Gongadze, an active critic of the government, disappeared and his headless body was found in a forest outside Kiev.

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