Gongadze Lawyer: Pukach acts as though he feels protected
The trial of Oleksy Pukach, former MIA Head of Intelligence continued on Tuesday behind closed doors. Valentina Telychenko, the lawyer representing the murdered journalist’s widow, Myroslava Gongadze, later spoke to journalists about the hearing.
“Pukach admitted his guilt in part since he did not deny the fact that Georgy Gongadze died effectively at his hands. However today in my opinion during the questioning Puckach fed us stories about Georgy Gongadze, Oleksy Podolsky and Olena Prytula, claiming that, from 1997 they were preparing a State coup, and how he’d saved Ukraine, by killing one of those conspirators.”
Ms Telychenko said that it took enormous inner restrain and patience to listen to such stories.
“I think that because of unlawful behaviour from the Prosecutor General’s Office, Pukach has gained a sense that all is allowed, and that he is protected. He’s continuing to feel like a hero”.
She mentioned that there are a number of infringements in the way Pukach is being held in custody not least of which is the fact that he is held in an SBU or Security Service SIZO [detention unit] which by law should not exist. He has several security guards and gets his meals from the SBU hospital.
Statements from Pukach are not enough, she pointed out, to accuse Leonid Kuchma or Volodymyr Lytyyn (who is now Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada) with commissioning Gongadze’s murder. Pukach’s testimony needs to be checked, there need to be other witnesses, written evidence, she stressed.
She believes it will be very difficult to charge those who ordered the killing since “the criminal investigation did not check Pukach’s testimony in a proper manner”.
She said she was sure that there would soon be an end to this, Pukach would understand that he was the defendant in the case and that it was in his interests to give honest testimony.
According to journalist Oleksy Podolsky who has victim status in this case, Pukach named Kuchma, Lytvyn and former Minister of Internal Affairs who is officially supposed to have committed suicide in early 2005 as the people who ordered the killing. “He said that after he killed Gongadze, he had a meeting and at that meeting Lytvyn was present and that he was introduced to Lytvyn as the person who took Gongadze away and killed him. To which Lytvyn replied “I know”.
“Pukach also said that Kravchenko had rung the President in his presence and had reported to him. When asked who commissioned the murder, he spoke about President Kuchma. That’s all in the material and previous testimony”, Podolsky said.
The lawyer representing Georgy’s mother, Lesya Gongadze, Andriy Fedur repeated his view, reported earlier, that the Pukach trial is taking place behind closed doors so that the public don’t hear what Pukach has to say.
“Pukach’s testimony on many issues is very interesting. He says things he didn’t say before”.