- OSCE Welcomes Gongadze Conviction, Urges Further Probe
- Ukrainian Ex-Police General Convicted of Journalist’s Murder
- Ukraine Court Upholds Exoneration of Ex-President Kuchma
- Ukraine's ex-president Kuchma will not appeal charges over Gongadze murder
- Ukraine's ex-president Kuchma charged over Gongadze murder
KIEV, February 20 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office has enough evidence pointing to former president Leonid Kuchma’s involvement in the murder of opposition journalist Georgy Gongadze, First Deputy Prosecutor General Renat Kuzmin said on Wednesday.
“We have sufficient evidence proving Kuchma’s involvement in this crime,” he told Radio Ekho Moskvy.
Kuzmin did not specify the evidence, nor did he say whether Kuchma will actually be charged.
In late January Ukraine's former Interior Ministry General Oleksiy Pukach was convicted of murdering and beheading Gongadze and sentenced to life in prison.
Kiev’s Pechersky District Court established that Pukach killed the journalist while trying to make him admit to being a foreign spy. Gongadze did not confess, though admitting he had collected data for the US Embassy. Pukach said he just wanted to frighten Gongadze, but the belt around his neck accidentally tightened and he died. He then beheaded the journalist.
Gongadze, an outspoken critic of then-President Leonid Kuchma, was kidnapped, and his headless body was found months later in a forest in September 2000. The slaying shocked Ukraine and sparked massive street protests.
Three policemen were jailed for the murder in 2008.
Shortly after the killing, hidden camera recordings were released in which Kuchma was allegedly heard discussing ways to get rid of the reporter with late former Interior Minister Yuriy Kravchenko.
Pukach, the head of the ministry's surveillance department at the time of the murder, was arrested in 2009 after six years on the run.
Pukach said he killed the journalist on the orders of Kravchenko. Kravchenko purportedly committed suicide in 2005. Pukach also accused Kuchma and ex-parliament speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn of having masterminded the assassination.
In June 2012, Ukraine’s High Special Court for Civil and Criminal Cases upheld the ruling to drop murder charges against Kuchma.
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