Appeal court upholds removal of contract killing charge in Gongadze case


The Kyiv Court of Appeal on Wednesday left without change the ruling from the Pechersky District Court in Kyiv which on 31 January upheld the Prosecutor General’s decision to remove the charge involving contract killing against Oleksiy Pukach.

The appeal had been lodged by Valentina Telychenko, the lawyer representing Georgy Gongadze’s widow, while the initial suit to the Pechersky Court was filed by both Ms Telychenko and victim in the case Oleksy Podolsky.

The decision in December last year to remove the contract killing charge followed an investigation which found that the order to kill Gongadze had been issued by the former Minister of the Interior Yury Kravchenko who died in early  2005.  Kravchenko, despite having two gunshot wounds to the head, is officially said to have committed suicide.

All of this has been widely seen, both in Ukraine and abroad, as aimed at preventing any real investigation into who really ordered the killing to protect those who either are or were in very high positions.

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