The officers somewhat excelled themselves


This week the Kyiv Appeal Court passed sentence in the case involving the abduction of journalist Oleksy Podolsky. Those who carried out the crime which bears much in common with the abduction and murder of Georgy Gongadze, were sentenced to three years imprisonment.

Oleksy Podolsky is unhappy with the verdict since he believes that only the executors of the crime, but not its initiators have been punished.

Podolsky is a journalist and political analyst. In 2000 he published a series of articles about corruption among high-ranking public officials, including the then President Leonid Kuchma.

 The Appeal Court heard that Podolsky had been abducted by former officers of the Central Criminal Investigation Department [hereafter the Department] of the Ministry of Internal Affairs who had inflicted bodily injuries. The prosecution asserted that Mykola Naumets and Oleh Marynyak, together with the then Head of the Department, had on 9 June 2000 abducted Mr Podolsky, taken him to a forest area in the Chernihiv region, beaten him and, threatening physical retribution, demanded that he “stop his public and political activities”.

Three months later officers of the same Department repeated this scenario with the journalist Georgy Gongadze, except that on that occasion the threat was carried out. 

Judge Jeanna Yelenina found both defendants guilty of exceeding their powers, this being accompanied by violence and humiliation. The two men were sentenced to three years imprisonment and also stripped of their rank.

It should be noted that the sentence was the minimum set down in law for that Article of the Criminal Code. The prosecution had called for five years, while Podolsky and his lawyer had insisted that the sentences be different since Naumets had confessed.

Oleksy Podolsky is also unhappy that since the conviction of those who carried out the crime, the investigation into who ordered it has been terminated. “In this way the court is putting a big fat period on the proceedings – both mine and Gongadze’s. The executors of the crime don’t interest me, they’re neither here nor there. The crime was committed by those who gave the orders”.  He believes that Kuchma and Volodymyr Lytvyn, from 1999 to 2002 Head of the President’s Administration, should be prosecuted.

The same Kyiv Appeal Court, with the same residing judge, is examining the case of Georgy Gongadze.


From information published at

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