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No end to lies and subterfuge over Gongadze’s murder


The lawyers representing murdered journalist Gongadze’s widow and Oleksy Podolsky say that the trial of former Police General Oleksy Pukach is being speeded up. They accuse the prosecution of refusing to call witnesses who could shed light on the motives for Gongadze’s murder in September 200 and the identity of those who ordered the killing.

Oleksy Podolsky, himself a journalist and a victim in the criminal case believes that only scapegoats are being charged, while those who ordered Gongadze’s death are not even being called as witnesses.

The trial, despite protest from media organizations in Ukraine and abroad, continues behind closed doors.

Valentina Telychenko who is representing Georgy Gongadze’s widow, Myroslava Gongadze says that the hearings are moving at a much faster pace, with the lawyers not having time to prepare for questioning the next witness.  Pukach is still, as already reported, claiming that he acted in the name of justice, accusing Georgy Gongadze of crimes against the state.

Ms Telychenko says that the last witness was a former police officer.  “This is an essentially decent man, he recounted how he was forced to leave his post. It’s to do with an unlawful instruction to follow Gongadze. And Pukach is continuing to claim that he was right, and the whole world not, that he was carrying out some kind of important mission. I’m disturbed at how the trial is developing. It looks like we’ll hear that Pukach committed the murder on the instruction of certain people against whom a separate investigation has been initiated. That’s a very reliable way of concealing information about those who commissioned the murder. We’ve again gone down a road that doesn’t bring us to the truth”,

Journalist Oleksy Podolsky who was tortured by police officers believes that in 12 years the investigation has not changed, and they are continuing to try only scapegoats. “The ones guilty are those who created the system of political violence, they are being protected from liability as before”.

“Pukach named as witnesses both Parliamentary Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn [then Head of Kuchma’s Administration – translator) and former President Leonid Kuchma. Yet the Prosecutor is stubbornly refusing to interrogate them.”

The trial has so far questioned 2 out of 13 witnesses, and the next hearing is scheduled for 7 May.

From information reported by Yevhen Solonyna at Radio Svoboda

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