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Georgy’s case has influenced, continues and will continue to influence the Presidential elections

23.07.2009    source:
An interview with Myroslava Gongadze, Georgy’s widow as to likely progress and conclusion of the investigation into the murder following the arrest of former Police Colonel Oleksy Pukach

Following the arrest of former Police Colonel Oleksy Pukach, the main person accused of carrying out the murder of Georgy Gongadze, a lot of information is emerging which gives rise to new questions. As reported, the Deputy Head of the SBU [Security Service] Vasyl Hrytsak has stated that Pukach has named those who ordered the killing. Radio Svoboda asked Georgy’s widow, Myroslava Gongadze for her views. Myroslava and her two daughters now live in the United States.

- I don’t think that there will be progress so swiftly. Obviously the detention and arrest of General Pukach is a crucial step in this investigation. Judging by the evidence, case material and testimony of the police officers who are already serving sentences, he directly took part in the murder and himself suffocated Georgy, helped by those police officers. That is, he is the immediate killer. However once again he was the one who carried it out. For the moment the question of who ordered the killing remains open. If General Pukach names those who ordered the crime, then it will be very important to not simply give the names, but to gather the entire evidence base which could set the path for bringing charges against those who ordered the killing. With the information which is already available, he has admitted guilt and is giving evidence. He says that those who ordered the killing are alive (perhaps not all). I therefore hope that it will all depend on the professionalism of the Prosecutor General’s Office [PGO]. I consider it very important for the PGO investigation group to be stepped up and it is vital to include those people who up to now investigated the case (who passed material to the court regarding the three police officers since they have a huge amount of information in this case). If there is really sufficient political will, then charges will be laid against those who ordered the killing.

Myroslava, some experts have already expressed the view that it is no accident that this arrest has taken place now, when the electoral campaign is just beginning. Do you see any connection?

- I see a connection only in the fact that Georgy’s murder was a political crime and that a very large number of political forces are implicated in the case. And since those political forces are fighting among themselves, that has always been a way of uncovering and making new information in the case public. Therefore this political connection is very specific. Whether it was specially done today because the political process has begun I can’t say. However the fact that this case is political is unequivocal as is the fact that the case has, is and will continue to influence the Presidential elections.

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