war crimes in Ukraine

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Gongadze lawyer sees grounds for criminal charges against Kuchma - and politics

22.03.2011    source:

Valentyna Telychenko, the lawyer for Myroslava Gongadze, Georgy Gongadze's widow, believes that the actions of the Prosecutor General's Office are inconsistent, and are evidence of political influence being brought to bear.

"Sooner or later, the Prosecutor General's Office had to determine whether there was evidence of a crime in the actions of [second Ukrainian President Leonid] Kuchma. However, the actions of the prosecutor's office are very inconsistent, " Telychenko told Interfax-Ukraine on Tuesday, commenting on media reports about the opening of a criminal case by the PGO against Kuchma in connection with the murder of Gongadze.

Telychenko stressed that until recently the prosecutor's office had been arguing that this was not a premeditated murder committed by former Chief of the External Surveillance Department at the Ukrainian Interior Ministry Oleksiy Pukach and ordered by other persons. The PGO was even putting pressure on judges in this matter, the lawyer said.

"This indicates that the actions of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine were influenced by politics and political interests, "  Ms Telychenko stressed that she could not say whether Kuchma was guilty or not.  "But there are grounds to institute criminal proceedings against him, "   She said that, not only Kuchma, but also others could be charged with being involved in this murder.

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