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Family hope report will reveal truth of Barry's killing

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: February 16, 2013

Barry Pring at Meteor Crater, Northern Arizona, above, Sydney's Darling Harbour, top left, and with his internet bride Anna Ziuzina, below

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Barry Pring was just 47 when he was "intentionally killed" in the Ukraine.

"He was killed in the most cold-blooded, callous and cowardly way imaginable," his brother Shaughan told me during a meeting at his Devon home.

In the five years since his death, Barry's family and friends say they have inadvertently been entangled in a web of deceit, red tape, suspected high-level corruption and regular threats and lies.

"It is so frustrating as it is so obvious what has happened," added Shaughan. "A child could look at the evidence we have gathered and figure it out."

The story – which would not look out of place in a Hollywood movie – dates back to 2006 when Barry, of Bradninch, near Cullompton, Devon, met a Ukrainian lap-dancer, 20 years his junior, on the internet.

They married just months later and, despite living in separate countries, Mr Pring visited her in the Ukraine to celebrate their first wedding anniversary at a restaurant near Kiev in February 2007.

He was subsequently hit by a speeding car and decapitated after being escorted by his wife to the hard shoulder of a dual carriageway.

Ukrainian police initially treated it as a hit-and-run accident and had dropped the investigation, but after pressure from the Ukrainian ambassador it was reclassified as "an intentional killing" last year.

Mr Pring's widow and her family have always denied any involvement in Mr Pring's death.

Shaughan said he believed his brother, who was worth more than £1.5m, was the victim of a contract killing.

Those responsible for Barry's murder are still at large. Mr Pring said he was now more hopeful than ever that the truth may finally be about to emerge.

"Ukraine is a real dark and dangerous place," he said. "The police have tried to sweep the whole thing under the carpet from day one.

"I will never give up. The net is closing and the noose is tightening. It is a crucial time right now and it is vital we keep up the momentum.

"It is a big chance for us to finally get justice for Barry. No-one deserves to die like he did."

Shaughan's renewed sense of hope is related to the impending release of a report compiled by UK journalist Graham Phillips who has been living in Kiev for the last two years. Mr Phillips is planning on publishing his findings this weekend.

"His report will shock people," said Shaughan.

"All we want is the truth and justice and to get to the bottom of what happened. We are more hopeful than ever now because we believe Graham has got so close to the truth and is really rattling cages. This is probably our last chance."

As we spoke, Mr Pring received news of another breakthrough when he got a text message from his MP Neil Parish, confirming he had secured a meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron to go over the "unedited details" of the case.

"That is great news. You cannot get much higher than that," added Shaughan.

"All it would take is one call from David Cameron to the Ukrainian PM to clear this up.

"We knew it was murder from the beginning. As soon as I was told of his death I was suspicious. My gut instinct was there was something strange.

"I met with one of Barry's friends in London shortly after he was killed. He is a very methodical person and said 'I think your brother was murdered'.

"We quickly hired a private investigator who gathered statements. The police are now on their seventh investigator in the Ukraine and we keep getting pushed from pillar to post.

"Over the years we have sent numerous letters to the police but had no replies. We have been going around in circles. Our hopes are built up and then we hit another brick wall.

"We know why this is the case and that will be revealed when Graham's report is released."

Shaughan has called on the UK police forces to accept jurisdiction of the case as he claims elements of the police in the Ukraine have a "direct interest" in not investigating.

"In 2010 police closed the case, yet no one informed us of that. Later that year myself, Neil Parish and Barry's friend went for a meeting with the Ukrainian ambassador for Britain. He returned to Kiev in January 2011 and not long after that we were told they had re-opened the case as a murder enquiry.

"The police have done the right things by interviewing neighbours and friends but, again, it gets to a certain level and we hit a brick wall again."

"Our police are frustrated as well. They really want to get their teeth into this but their hands are tied. Five years is a long time and I must have spent thousands of hours working on the case as well as trying to juggle my own business. We all want justice but it has come as an incredible strain, emotionally and financially. We have not had closure. We know there has been a murder and have a good idea by whom. We cannot let them get away with it."

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