war crimes in Ukraine

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Myroslava Gongadze scathing over lack of any progress in the Gongadze “investigation”

28.01.2009    source:
Myroslava Gongadze asserts that those in power are positively protecting the fourth man sought over her husband’s murder and that nothing is really being done to achieve progress

Myroslava Gongadze has told Radio Svoboda that those in power are positively protecting the fourth man sought over her husband’s murder.

As already reported, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on 27 January adopted Resolution 1645 “Investigation of crimes allegedly committed by high officials during the Kuchma rule in Ukraine – the Gongadze case as an emblematic example”.

Radio Svoboda contacted Myroslava Gongadze a few hours before the PACE vote to find out what she expected of the session.

“Why is this session taking place? It’s probably worth remembering that in June last year the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers bound Ukraine to report every six months on the progress of the Gongadze case, as well as on other crimes against journalists and politicians during Leonid Kuchma’s presidency. This session was vital as the first following the decision that Ukraine should report. Therefore, if we’re talking about my expectations, I would simply like to hear what Ukraine’s representatives actually have to say about the investigation. Since, according to my information up to June of last year there had been virtually no success and no results in the investigation. Representatives of the prosecutor’s office claim that they are “working hard” and trying to investigate the case, however, as a representative of the victim’s side, I unfortunately have almost no information about the course of the investigation. We made the last request for information to the prosecutor’s office on 24 December regarding an expert opinion on Major Melnychenko’s tapes. We have unfortunately, not yet received any answer.

- Today in Brussels President Yushchenko said that “they will be talking about the highest echelons of power in this case” and stressed that the problem at present was that possibly the only person who could provide testimony was on the international wanted list. Myroslava, does this mean that for you the case cannot move forward since this “main person” (clearly we are talking about General Pukach) cannot actually be found, i.e. isn’t available?

Well, this “main person” does in fact exist. The problem is that despite Viktor Yushchenko’s statements that over the last 2 years Ukraine has been doing all in its power to find “this person” and achieve some success in the investigation, in reality this is not happening and they are not only not looking for  “this person”  - General Pukach, but they are protecting him, and protecting him in the highest echelons of power, for example, in the Ministry of Internal Affairs which is, incidentally, headed by a former leader of the “Ukraine without Kuchma” movement, Mr Lutsenko. I have an official statement from the Ministry of Internal Affairs that it turns out that the police officers who are presently serving sentences virtually committed the crime of their own initiative and that the Ministry was in no way implicated. So unfortunately for me, Viktor Yushchenko and the entire Ukrainian leadership remind me of a two-faced Janus: in the West they say that they are actively working and making progress, and within Ukraine they show an entirely different face.

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