April 16, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

The second Ukrainian teenage basketball player died in a German hospital


Artem Kozachenko, an 18-year-old Ukrainian basketball player, died in hospital after being stabbed on February 10 in Oberhausen.

This was announced on February 20 by the basketball club Art Giants Düsseldorf, for which Artem and previously deceased 17-year-old Vladimir Ermakov from Ukraine. After the brutal attack, Kozachenko was in the intensive care unit, doctors fought for his life. However, how writes Bild, in recent days the athlete’s condition has worsened and it was not possible to save him. Art Giants Düsseldorf wrote on social media:

“Like Vova, Artem was extremely popular among teammates, coaches and friends, everyone spoke only positively about him. In addition to his great talent and disciplined dedication to basketball, Artem was known as a cheerful and open person with a good sense of humor. (.. .) Artem and Vova, we will always remember you and keep you in our hearts. Rest in peace! “

By data Bild, athletes On February 10, at about 8 pm, they were traveling on a bus from the Centro shopping center to Oberhausen main station to transfer to the train to Düsseldorf. On the bus they had a conflict with other young people. Witnesses report that 15-year-old German of Turkish origin Mert V. and his comrades repeatedly provoked the Ukrainians, but they tried to avoid conflict. As a result, after the teenagers got off the bus, Mert pulled out a knife and “like crazy” attacked the guys, inflicting nine stab wounds on them. In addition, he stabbed teenagers from his company who were trying to calm him down.

Essen police and prosecutors say that “after an exhaustive interview with witnesses and analysis of evidence, nothing specifically points to a xenophobic crime.” Ukraine announced this earlier – the Kyiv Basketball Federation claimed that Ukrainian athletes were attacked “simply because they are Ukrainians.”

How writes DW edition, Mert W., a resident of Gelsenkirchen, had previously been detained in connection with robberies and causing bodily harm to others. After the knife attack on February 10, another schoolchild, a 14-year-old German with Greek roots living in the city of Herne, was also detained. However, he was later released because there was no serious evidence that he had committed a crime.

On that fateful day, after training, Vladimir and Artem went shopping at Centro Oberhausen (NRW) and then headed home at exactly 8 pm. On Sunday their club had an important game against Dresden, they wanted to have a good rest and be in shape. They met Mert W. (15 years old) and his gang on a bus going to Oberhausen main station.

It is reported that a criminal known to the police repeatedly provoked athletes with insults for no reason. Witnesses later said that the basketball players were desperately trying to avoid a quarrel. However, Mert V. and his accomplices reportedly continued to provoke.

They all got off the bus at Oberhausen main station. The killer immediately attacked the Ukrainians with blows, and his three accomplices cut off the victims’ path. According to witnesses, Mert pulled out a knife and, like a madman, began to strike the athletes with it.

Homicide issued arrest warrants for all four attackers (14-15 years old), declaring a joint murder suspected. The investigator noted: “Everyone contributed to the crime in different ways, cutting off the victims’ path or killing them. But it was probably only the main criminal who stabbed him.”

Because the gang has repeatedly harassed and injured other youths, police are now investigating whether it is involved in other crimes. Police spokesman:

“After interviewing a large number of witnesses, assessing footprints and seized evidence, as well as video recordings, there are increasing indications that other people may be involved in the crime. In addition to solving last Saturday’s crime, Homicide is also looking into whether those arrested could be candidates for other similar crimes. Extensive investigations are ongoing.”

Homicide investigators are urgently seeking additional witnesses who were on the bus immediately before the crime and are appealing to them to “Please call 0201/8295101 or 0201/8290.”

A police spokesman said: “This morning arrest warrants were issued for three more young people: a 14-year-old Greek-German from Hern, a 14-year-old Syrian and a 15-year-old Syrian living in Gelsenkirchen. They are suspected of committing joint murder, attempted murder and causing grievous bodily harm.” All four suspects are in custody.



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