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Trial of Gongadze murder suspect to continue behind closed doors

29.04.2011    source:

According to the lawyer representing Myroslava Gongadze, Valentina Telychenko, the trial of former Police General Oleksiy Pukach is being dragged out and held in closed regime so that the public do not see the indictment which carries the stamp “secret”. “This is despite the fact that in the Prosecutor General’s Investigation Department they could have encoded the names of the police officers mentioned there as they did during the previous two indictments. I assume they wanted to ensure that the public didn’t see the indictment since even lawyers outside the case would be able to assess whether it was, to put it delicately, impeccably prepared.”

Asked if the whole trial would now be behind closed doors, Ms Telychenko replied: “In theory the entire proceedings cannot be closed, only that part pertaining to the division which Pukach was at that time in charge of. Nonetheless I can already see from the indictment that the material has been prepared in such a way as to ensure that the maximum possible number of hearings take place in closed regime”.

At the beginning of April, the Prosecutor General’s Office terminated the criminal investigation against former Minister of Internal Affairs Yury Kravchenko whom the investigators had claimed ordered the killing (Kravchenko supposedly killed himself with two bullets to the head in early 2005 – translator) and passed the case of Pukach to the court on charges under Article 365 § 2, 364 § 3 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code, as well as 166 § 3 and two items of Article 93 from the 1960 Criminal Code.

The statement from the GPO then stated that Pukach had carried out the instructions of Kravchenko and other officials and had in May – September 2000 “exceeded his power and official powers with regard to the civic figure Oleksy Podolsky and journalist Georgy Gongadze, and had on 17 September 2000 murdered the latter”.  He is also accused of giving unlawful instructions to other police officers.

The court on Thursday adjourned the next hearing for almost a month. 

From a report at

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