BISMARCK, N.D. (KXMB) — After nearly two months behind bars in Ukraine, Kurt Groszhans, a farmer from Ashley, North Dakota, appeared before a panel of several judges last week.
An attorney for Groszhans told CBS 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.
Groszhans’ next hearing is scheduled for February 13th.
Family members of Groszhans started a gofundme for him. KX News reached out to them for comment on this story, but have not heard back.