After nearly two months behind bars in Ukraine, Kurt Groszhans, a farmer from Ashley, appeared before a panel of several judges last week.
An attorney for Groszhans told CBS News that the panel ruled Groszhans will remain in detention as he awaits trial on charges he attempted to arrange the assassination of Ukraine’s agriculture minister.
Groszhans’ lawyer said he denies all the charges against him, which include attempted murder, attempted extortion, and attempted kidnapping.
Groszhans moved to Ukraine in 2017 and began business ties with Roman Leshchenko, who is now the minister of Agrarian Policy and Food in Ukraine, and the man Groszhans is accused of plotting to kill.
In a blog post from August 2021, Groszhans described himself as a “humble American investor in the Ukrainian agro-industrial sector.” He goes on to say that Leshchenko deceived him and that he filed several lawsuits against Leshchenko that have been delayed in Ukrainian courts.
Meanwhile, Groszhans’ attorney said he believes Groszhans was set up and that there’s no proof of any crime. He also said Groszhans believes he was poisoned with psychotropic substances at a November meeting with undercover police.
A former assistant of Groszhans, a Ukrainian woman named Olena Bogach, is also being detained and is accused of trying to hire a hitman to kill Leshchenko.
Family members of Groszhans started a GoFundMe for him.
A sister of Groszhans also provided a statement to CBS News, which said in part, that she has “no confidence in the legal system. If they can have him arrested, they can have him convicted, and then can have him hurt.”
She continued, “It is amazing to me that Ukraine is desperate for U.S. military and political support right now and Minister Leshchenko and President Zelenskyy are choosing to cover up their corruption by persecuting an innocent American. Anyone who is focusing on words like ‘assassination’ is being distracted from the real truth. This is a cover-up of political corruption.”
Groszhans’ next hearing is scheduled for Feb. 13.