One of the three convicted over Gongadze’s murder moved
Valery Kostenko, one of the former police officers sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for his part in the killing of journalist Georgy Gongadze has been moved to a minimum security unit. Valentina Telychenko, the lawyer representing Gongadze’s widow believes that this was absolutely in accordance with the law.
Three men were convicted in March 2008 for their role in killing Gongadze: Mykola Protasov, Oleksandr Popovych and Valery Kostenko. The newspaper Kommersant – Ukraine had sent an information request to the Ministry of Internal Affairs CID asking about the men’s whereabouts. The first two men, they learned, are still in penal colonies in the Chernihiv region, however Kostenko is now in the Domnytsky Corrective Centre where people sentenced to “restriction of liberty” are held.
Valery Kostenko who admitted to “holding Georgy Gongadze’s legs” while Oleksy Pukach suffocated him, was also sentenced to imprisonment. Kommersant contacted the various penal institutions and was informed that Kostenko had been transferred to the milder regime institution in accordance with Articles 100 and 101 of the Penal Code. These allow for such transfer “for prisoners on the path to correction”.
The newspaper goes into some detail about the conditions in the corrective centre.
It then reports Valentina Telychenko, Myroslava Gongadze’s widow, as saying that she is convinced Valery Kostenko was transferred to the corrective centre on lawful grounds. “This man is expiating his guilt. He is the only one who fully admitted guilt and stated that his life had ended on 16 September 2000 (the day of Georgy Gongadze’s murder). If I was in the journalists’ place, I would pay attention not to him, but to Oleksy Pukach who is firstly being held in comfortable conditions in the so-called SBU SIZO [the Security Service’s remand unit], secondly, before the court hearings has been freely moving about the courtroom without guard”
From the report at http://www.kommersant.ua/doc.html?docId=1677970