Gongadze Lawyer: Pukach Case closed so that Journalists don’t hear to much
At the latest hearing in the trial against former Police General Oleksy Pukach at the Pechersky District Court, the court rejected a number of applications from lawyers representing members of the Gongadze family.
Andriy Fedur, Lawyer for Lesya Gongadze, Georgy Gongadze’s mother, told journalists that the lawyers had asked that Pukach me moved from the SBU [Security Service] detention centre [SIZO] which at legislative level has not existed for a long time, but in an ordinary SIZO. The court turned this down without, according to Mr Fedur, providing any reason. “This for me is an extremely negative signal. It could clearly lead to various adverse legal consequences in this criminal prosecution. For example, the period that Pukach has been in custody when a sentence is passed since that couldn’t be taken into consideration since officially it’s not clear where he’s being held. I might venture to suggest that this is
Valentina Telychenko, Lawyer for Georgy’s widow, Myroslava Gongadze pointed out that the court had also rejected the lawyers’ application to return the case for additional investigation since in their view the investigators have not established conclusively what role the former Minister of Internal Affairs, Yury Kravchenko [who died in a somewhat unexplained “suicide” in 2005 – translator] played in the murder of Georgy Gongadze.
On 31 March 2011 the Prosecutor General’s Office passed the indictment against Pukach to the court. It said that the investigators had established that the accused, carrying out the orders and instructions of former Minister of Internal Affairs Yury Kravchenko and ofther public offficals, from May to September 2000 exceeded their power and official authority with regard to the civic figure Oleksy Podolsky and the journalist Georgy Gongadze and on 17 September murdered the latter. Pukach is also charged with having, in July 2003, unlawfully ordered subordinates to destroy official documents, including those pertaining to the unlawful surveillance of Gongadze (this is classified as exceeding his official position).