Last hearing in the Gongadze case


Myroslava Gongadze’s lawyer Valentyna Telychenko has provided journalists with information about the court hearing on Tuesday. The defendants spoke, as well as the murdered journalist’s mother Lesya Gongadze. The judges then retired to their chambers where they will consider the verdict.

The next hearing at which the verdict is expected to be announced is set for 15 March if by that time the judges have left the consulting chambers. Otherwise the hearing will be adjourned. The actual reading of the verdict could take several days.

Ms Telychenko said that she had no complaints about the court proceedings. “Everything was done in accordance with the law, there were no infringements of the rights either of the defence, or of the defendants. We can speak of the case being dragged out due to Protasov’s claims of ill-health, however everything was in keeping with the law.”

She commented also that all parties had noted the thoroughness of the court investigation. She said that it was the most thorough in their experience. They had questioned all those whose testimony was part of the evidence and had studied all the material in the case.

Ms Telychenko has agreed to not demand a greater sentence for Mykola Protasov than that called for by the prosecution. She says that 14 years is a long enough sentence and that the maximum sentences should be kept for those who ordered the killing, whose guilt is greater. As for the other two men, for Kostenko they called for the minimal sentence which came to 8.5 years, while for Popovych they asked for a 10-year sentence.

Ms Telychenko repeated that the investigation into those who ordered the killing remains blocked and is only formally being carried out.

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