Gongadzes widow outraged by recent honour to Potebenko
“I consider the award presented by the President to Potebenko for “his contribution to the development of a law-based state” to be like an open slap in the face”, Myroslava Gongadze has told the Institute of Mass Information.
She says that Mykhailo Potebenko was one of those responsible for the death of her husband, since it was specifically to him that Georgy Gongadze addressed an official letter stating that he was being followed. “The then Prosecutor General virtually ignored the statement which resulted, as the criminal investigation and court trial of those implicated in the killing have shown, led to Georgys death”, Myroslava Gongadzes lawyer says.
Ms Gongadze also says that Potebenko is responsible for having stalling an investigation into the case during the first two years when much more could have been done.
In addition, Myroslava Gongadze is insisting on an investigation into the role of two former Prosecutor Generals - Mykhailo Potebenko and Gennady Vasilyev in the falsifying of the Gongadze case. She says that the first step should be to launch criminal investigations against them.
“I believe that through his decision to honour Mykhailo Potebenko, the President has amnestied potential criminals. For me this award from the President is a sign of approval and encouragement of such crimes in the future”, she asserts.
Ms Gongadze believes that the President should withdraw the award to Potebenko. “I believe that closing ones eyes to such decisions by the President or other public officials, or even forgiving such actions, means simply not having self-respect”.
On 17 February President Yushchenko awarded Mykhailo Potebenko the Order of Yaroslav the Wise [Mudry] III class for “his contribution to the development of a law-based state”