New charge against the defendants in the Gongadze case
Three men accused of killing the journalist Georgy Gongadze are facing a new charge of causing significant damage to the image of the country and its law enforcement agencies.
This was announced by Myroslava Gongadzes lawyer Valentyna Telychenko on Monday 14 January. She said that the relevant application from the prosecutors office had been accepted at the latest session of the panel of judges of the Kyiv Court of Appeal. The new charge is based on Article 166 § 1 of the Criminal Code ((abuse of official position causing significant damage to the State or public interest). The justification given was that the actions the defendants are accused of “had caused damage to the image of the Ukrainian law enforcement agencies and the country as a whole”.
Ms Telychenko reported that the next hearing was scheduled for 24 January, with the break being needed so that the defendants and their lawyers could examine the new charge, and in order that Georgy Gongadzes mother could be informed of the change.
The three men are all former Ministry of Internal Affairs officers who are accused of killing Georgy Gongadze in 2000. A fourth man accused of the crime is on the run.
The court examination of the case by the Kyiv Court of Appeal began two years ago, on 9 January 2006.