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21.03.2011

Klymentyev: Report to Parliament on Getting Nowhere

   

The newspaper Kommersant – Ukraine writes that on Friday the Prosecutor General’s Office and Ministry of the Interior reported to the Verkhovna Rada on the course of the investigation into the disappearance of Kharkiv journalist Vasyl Klymentyev. They asserted that a considerable amount of work had been done and expressed confidence that the crime would soon be solved. Members of the opposition believe that Vasyl Klymentyev was the victim of a settling of scores within the police and that his murder will not be solved while Anatoly Mohylyov remains Minister of the Interior.

The newspaper reports that the event began with conflict between the parliamentary majority and opposition following the Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn’s suggestion that the members of the enforcement bodies not be asked questions.

Iryna Herashchenko from Our Ukraine – People’s Self-Defence objected, saying that both the Ministry of the Interior and the Prosecutor General’s Office had an interest in parliamentarians asking questions “since at present there are many members of the press and the public dissatisfied with the lack of openness of he enforcement bodies”. The first deputy to the head of the Party of the Regions factions, however, disagreed and the Speaker’s motion was supported by 250 Deputies.

The Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka spoke for around 5 minutes. He stated that his body “understands the role and significance of journalists in modern society” and stated that the number of representatives of the media suffering from crimes was increasing each year. “In 2008 there were 14, in 2009 – 20 and in 2010 – 33 people. The overwhelming majority of them suffered from general criminal offences”. He also noted that “they are not always successful in solving all crimes as soon as they’re committed, and cited the Klymentyev case as an example. “A considerable amount of work has been carried out: 91 forensic investigations, 33 checks and 33 searches; 20 court orders have been received; more than 480 witnesses questioned. The criminal investigation is continuing and more detailed information will be provided by the Minister of the Interior”.

Anatoly Mohylyov then took the floor and was equally brief. He said that 2 of the 10 versions for the disappearance of the Kharkiv journalist were left. “The first priority version is in connection with carrying out his professional duties; the second – the abduction and later murder of Klymentyev in order to discredit certain officials in high positions in the executive bodies of the Kharkiv region. At the present time a number of measures are being carried out aimed at establishing the whereabouts of certain figures with a direct link to the crime”. He added that he did not doubt that the crime would soon be solved.

However members of the opposition are convinced that the crime against Vasyl Klymentyev will not be solved while the Ministry of the Interior, carrying out the investigation, is headed by Anatoly Mohylyov. According to the Shadow Minister of the Interior, Hennady Moskal, “The situation is the same as with the disappearance of Georgy Gongadze and the police know everything. They know that Klymentyev was used in the battle for the post of one of the heads of the Kharkiv Department of the MoI, and that current personnel of the Kharkiv Regional MoI may be implicated in his disappearance and possible murder. The Prosecutor General’s Office should therefore as a matter of urgency demand the case from the MoI and carry out its own investigation, involving officers of the SBU [Security Services].

From the report by Valery Kucheruk

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