Court of Appeal upholds ruling closing prosecution against Kuchma
The Kyiv Court of Appeal on Friday 20 January upheld the decision of the Pechersky District Court in Kyiv on 14 December 2011 which quashed the criminal proceedings against former Presidentt Kuchma in connection with Georgy Gongadze’s murder.
As reported, the court found that the only grounds for the decision by First Deputy Prosecutor General Rinat Kuzmin to initiate criminal proceedings were the tapes made by Mykola Melnychenko. It cited the Constitutional Court judgement from October 2011which stated that prosecutions could not be based on information received through investigative operations carried out by people unauthorized to do so. Major Melnychenko acted on his own initiative when he illicitly taped conversations between Kuchma and others.
Appeals had been lodged by Myroslava Gongadze, journalist Oleksy Podolsky, who has victim status in the case against General Pukach, the lawyer for Mykola Melnychenko and the Prosecutor General.
The original ruling has been strongly condemned abroad as well as in Ukraine.