Teacher held for trying to sell student
KIEV: A school teacher on Wednesday appeared in court in Ukraine after allegedly trying to sell a 13-year-old schoolgirl under her care for more than US$10,000 (RM44,000)
Galyna Kovalenko, 52, who has been charged with human trafficking, faces up to 15 years’ jail if guilty of targeting the girl who was a student at the state boarding school where she worked.
Kovalenko denies the charges and says she has been set up.
She was detained on Monday after allegedly being “caught red-handed as she took the girl from her boarding school, led her to the buyers and received money”, interior minister Arsen Avakov wrote on Facebook.
The court in the eastern city of Kharkiv remanded her in custody for two months pending her trial.
State boarding schools in Ukraine are usually in poor condition and the students come from underprivileged backgrounds.
The teacher “had been working for nearly a year on this project to sell the 13-year-old girl”, Avakov said.
The court heard that the teacher was detained after police set up a sting.
Avakov said earlier in another post that “the buyer even asked about the child’s state of health, hinting at organ removal – and she (Kovalenko) agreed to provide the girl’s photos and medical record” for additional money.
Before appearing in court, the teacher protested her innocence to journalists, saying: “I do not admit guilt. Someone is trying to set me up.” – AFP