war crimes in Ukraine

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Has the Prosecutor General changed position on Gongadze Murder?

08.12.2010    source:

The Prosecutor General has refused to allow Myroslava Gongadze’s lawyer, Valentina Telychenko to read the material of the criminal file on former Police General Oleksiy Pukach, charged with the murder of journalist Georgy Gongadze.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Valentina Telychenko also informed that journalist Oleksiy Podolsky who figures as a victim in the investigation has also been refused.

She explains that on Monday she received a letter from the Prosecutor General’s Office saying that the victim’s side could begin reading the file from Monday morning. Yet during Tuesday’s conversation with the investigator, she learned that she was deprived of this right since the accused had already begun this procedure.  She says that her request to read the material in parallel with Pukach was also turned down. She points out that Article 217 of the Criminal Procedure Code envisages that the victim’s party should be allowed to read the material before the accused.  

“I understand that after the accused Pukach has read the file, it will be passed to the court. This is the first time I have encountered such a flagrant infringement of the Criminal Procedure Code.”

She is convinced that the investigators are doing this in order to prevent a fair number of questions from the defence regarding full and objective investigation. Back in September when she was shown the file, she had time to detect many inconsistencies and infringements.

Valentina Telychenko believes that this step can also be explained by the fact that the 17 month term allowed for holding Pukach in custody is coming to an end and they would have to release him.

She says that in a private conversation the investigator told her that Pukach had been questioned again during the past 2 months, and had given no new information nor changed his testimony.

She informed also that the Prosecutor General has changed the formulation of the charge, excluding the item of the article on killing on commission, leaving murder according to prior conspiracy by a group of persons”.

According to her information, out of 133 volumes of the case, 116 remain, with the rest removed supposedly for further investigation. She is not aware which volumes and what they include.

In conclusion, she stated that “with the change of investigator we have received a surge of infringements that I couldn’t even have envisaged. All of this creates only distrust in the investigation and a situation where we will come to the preliminary hearings with a case in an extremely rough state..

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