In Ukraine, a Successful Fight for Justice, Then a Murder

Ms. Nozdrovska, who was 38, argued in her appeals that the police, aware they had detained the relative of the district chief judge, Sergei Kuprienko, delayed testing Mr. Rossoshansky for drugs or alcohol for eight hours, allowing him time to sober up.

A judge working under Mr. Rossoshansky’s uncle paid no heed to the bungled police investigation and released the young man on bail.


Yuri Rossoshansky, whose son was convicted through the efforts of Ms. Nozdrovska, in court on Tuesday.

Sergei Supinsky/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

“Rossoshansky had influence and connections,” said Volodymyr Timofiychuk, a journalist who covered Ms. Nozdrovska’s crusade on Ukrainian television. “This was all done quietly.”

Ms. Nozdrovska appealed to higher courts to transfer the case from the district where the uncle held sway and then for a new trial, arguing that the police had falsified evidence while the local court looked the other way.

Ms. Nozdrovska, fought tirelessly while judges serving under the man’s uncle dragged their feet. As the case went on, the powerful family of the accused openly threatened her with violence.

“‘I will win this case if it costs me my life,’” Ms. Nozdrovska told a friend and fellow lawyer, Tamila Ulyanova, who did not take the statement literally.


The funeral procession for Ms. Nozdrovska on a bridge not far from where her body was found.

Alexey Furman for The New York Times

Finally, at a hearing on Dec. 27, with her elderly parents in the courtroom holding photographs of the dead sister, Ms. Nozdrovska did win. A judge accepted her argument of official misconduct and ordered a new trial for Mr. Rossoshansky.

After that final hearing, Mr. Rossoshansky’s father, Yuri Rossoshansky, told Ms. Nozdrovska that “this will end badly for you,” Mustafa Nayyem, a member of Parliament who has followed the case, wrote.

How the government deals with the murder is being seen as a test case in corruption fighting for the government and President Poroshenko.

“It’s almost a cliché case, where a relative of a judge avoids punishment and the person who tries to fight this injustice is herself punished in the most horrible way,” said Mykhailo Zhernakov, a former judge…

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