“Mere pretence of an investigation into who ordered Gongadze’s killing


The trial in the Gongadze case is drawing to a close however hearings are often adjourned on medical grounds linked with one of the defendants Mykola Protasov. This was the case on Thursday when illness was again cited as grounds for adjournment.

Valentyna Telychenko, who is representing Myroslava Gongadze at the trial, gave her speech during the debate which was following by that of the defence lawyer. According to Ms Telychenko, following this Mr Protasov got up and said that he felt so bad that he couldn’t stay at the court hearing. The judge therefore had no choice but to adjourn the hearing until 3 March.

In your opinion, is Protasov who is constantly ill  dragging the case out or is there some wider interest?

Protasov himself made the statement. I’m not a doctor to say whether he’s exaggerating or not. However we have no choice. He says that he can’t, so there has to be a break.

Did you demand a longer sentence for the defendants?

In Protasov’s case I agreed with the State Prosecutor and did not demand more. 14 years as punishment should be kept for the person who ordered the killing. As for Kostenko, we called for the minimal sentence which came to 8.5 years, while for Popovych we asked for a 10-year sentence.

When do you expect the case to end?

I hope that on 3 March everything will be OK with Protasov and we can work on. The remainder of the case should not take a lot of time. The addresses from the defendants during the debate need to be heard, comments, the defendants’ final words, and then the court will adjourn to consider its verdict. How long this will take, nobody can say.

The trial is presently concluding of those believed to have committed the act. Is the investigation progressing into those who ordered it?

That investigation remains blocked and nobody is working on it at present. De jure, it is supposedly continuing, however in fact there is only the languid imitation from the Prosecutor General that an investigation is underway.  Aside from the pretence, I see no movement.

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