'Drunk Ukraine police' accused of killing boy, five

One of the two suspects, Volodymyr Petrovets (centre), appears in court in Kiev, Ukraine. Photo: 4 June 2019 Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption One of the two suspects, Volodymyr Petrovets (centre), appears in court in Kiev

Two Ukrainian policemen have appeared in court accused of murdering a five-year-old boy.

Investigators say Ivan Pryhodko and Volodymyr Petrovets were drinking while off duty and shooting at cans when a stray bullet hit the boy.

The suspects made no comments during the court hearing, their lawyers say.

The death has focused attention on Ukraine's much criticised police after initial police statements said the boy had died after falling on a rock.

The two men have been denied bail at a hearing in the capital, Kiev.

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Media captionBridget Kendall joins members of the police force out on patrol

The shooting took place on Friday when the two patrol officers were drinking together in the courtyard of an apartment building near Kiev, officials said.

In hospital, the initial police version of events was disproved when fragments of a bullet were found inside the head of the boy, named as Kyrylo.

The head of the Kiev police region has submitted his resignation, and there are mounting calls for Ukraine's interior minister to do the same.

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