war crimes in Ukraine

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President Kuchma asked the General Prosecutor to close the criminal cases against five regional newspapers


[24 April 2003 2:53 p.m.]

President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma asked General Prosecutor Sviatoslav Piskun to close all criminal cases started against the mass media for impeding the activities of the head of the state.

The UNIAN correspondent communicates that today L. Kuchma said at the press conference: “I asked the General Prosecutor to close all criminal cases concerning mass media, which published critical articles about the Ukrainian President”. He pointed out that “he did not need this” and could protect himself without somebody’s help.

The President told that he had no connection with the cases started by the prosecutor’s office. He also said: “I do not know which mass media are involved in this case, maybe those, which I do not read”. At that, L. Kuchma pointed out that he disagreed with the situation with mass media in Ukraine and interpreted the freedom of speech as responsibility for one’s words.

The UNIAN reference. The General Prosecutor’s office of Ukraine instituted the criminal case in the connection with the facts of publishing in mass media, brochures and other editions the materials, directed at exerting influence on President Kuchma with the aim to impede the fulfillment of his professional duties.

Case No. 49-1120 was started in accordance with part 1 Article 334 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine “Meddling into activities of a state official”.

The criminal cases were started against the newspapers “Informatsiyny bulleten” (Kremenchug), “Cherkasska Pravda” (Cherkassy), “Rivnenskiy dialog” (Rivne), “Pozitsiya” (Sumy) and “Antenna” (Cherkassy).


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