dimitry and nataliya kirilik .
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
Prosecutors on Thursday indicted Dimitry Kirilik on multiple first-degree homicide charges in the Petah Tikva District Court for the murder of six members of the Oshrenko family in Rishon Lezion.
The indictment alleges that last month, Kirilik, 39, brutally murdered Ludmila and Edward Oshrenko, both aged 56, their son Dimitry and his wife Tatyana, 32 and 28, and their children Revital, three, and Natanel, three-months-old, before attempting to set the house ablaze in an effort to destroy evidence linking him to the murder. In the indictment, prosecutors say the crimes Kirilik stands accused of "showing unprecedented cruelty."
Among the more heinous charges, the indictment describes how Kirilik allegedly strangled the infant Natanel before crushing his skull and stabbing him eight times as he lay in his crib.
Kirilik also stands accused of conspiracy, robbery, arson, and breaking and entering.
Kirilik was a former employee at a restaurant owned by the Oshrenko family. He was publicly dismissed by Dimitry Oshrenko in 2007 after he was caught on video drinking on the job, police say.
Police believe the humiliation of his firing together with his gambling addiction drove Kirilik to plot the murder and robbery of the Oshrenko family. Kirilik reenacted the crime for police before making a full confession.
Kirilik was led into the courtroom Thursday along with his wife Natalya, with both flanked by prisons service officers. Kirilik, stone-faced and wearing an olive green tracksuit, refused to answer reporters' questions and did not respond when asked if he felt any remorse for the crimes. Natalya, for her part, kept her face buried in her hands, only once rising to speak to her attorney.
Natalya was indicted for manslaughter, destruction of evidence, conspiracy, and robbery for her alleged role in helping Dimitry plan the robbery and cover up evidence after the murder. Natalya has denied that she knew Dimitry planned to murder the Oshrenko family, but has confessed to helping plan the robbery. Prosecutors and police say she made a copy of the key to the Oshrenko family's residence, which she stole from their restaurant, where she was still employed after Dimitry was fired.
Natalya's court-appointed attorney Avi Cohen said outside the courtroom Thursday that his client "never dreamed" that her husband was planning on committing a murder and asked the court "to hold her responsible for her own crimes, not those of her husband."
Cohen denied police and prosecution contentions that Natalya knew her husband left the house armed with a knife and a container of diesel fuel to set the Oshrenko home ablaze. Cohen added that the fact that she was indicted for manslaughter and not murder was proof that there was not enough evidence to link her to the massacre.
Prosecutor Tzahi Uziel told reporters that "through every step of the process" Natalya helped Dimitry plot and carry out the murder. He cited her purchase of prepaid cellular phones for the couple to use on the night of the murder, and her calling Dimitry ahead of the murder to tell him Edward and Ludmilla had left their restaurant and were on their way to the murder scene.
Uziel said Natalya then launched "a military-style operation" throughout the city of Rishon Lezion to cover up evidence linking Dimitry to the crime, including the murder weapon, which she allegedly buried at a construction site in the city. Uziel also cited how Natalya had called Dimitry the day after the murder and told him to attend the funeral of the Osherenko family in order to allay suspicions that he was involved in the crime. At the time, Dimitry was in Taba, Egypt, where he had fled after allegedly committing the murders.
Kirilik's court-appointed attorney, Uri Keinan, on Thursday said that his client had been kept in terrible conditions and that in spite of the severe nature of the charges against him, there was no justification for him to be kept bound to his prison cell bed for the duration of his detention. Prison services had previously said the measures were taken because Kirilik posed a threat to himself and police.
Kirilik's 17-year-old daughter was also indicted in a Rishon Lezion juvenile court Thursday for allegedly helping her father to cover up the crime. Dimitry's father, Oleg, was charged with obstruction of justice as was Tatyana's sister Maria for their role in destroying evidence linking Dimitry to the murders.
Dimitry's mother Olga was the only family member to escape indictment.
Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.