Did Ukrainians Kill Gongadze to Vex Kuchma?

Beheaded body of journalist Gongadze who disappeared on September 16,2000 isn’t yet buried
The Ukrainian General Prosecutor’s Office considers it highly possible that the killing of journalist Georgy Gongadze was organized to undermine the reputation of President Leonid Kuchma. This was reported by Deputy Prosecutor of Ukraine, Viktor Shokin at a press-conference on Tuesday. In addition, he declared this theory for the first time last week, in an interview to the newspaper Segodnya; he said that assassins of the journalist planned to set up the president.

The investigation thinks that a fragment of the tapes from the archives of the scandalous Major Nikolay Melnichenko (the one where the president allegedly “orders” the assassination of the journalist) was cut two days after Gongadze disappeared. So, the investigation says that first the journalist disappeared, and only after that, the taped words of the president were recorded in accordance with the situation. However, the prosecutor’s Office will have to work a lot to prove this statement, as it has neither the original tapes, nor the equipment with which they were recorded (they are in the USA already). As experience shows, difficulties of this kind never make Ukraine give up; as was done in the scandal with Kolchuga systems, a fragment of the tape that is required can be easily obtained from the Internet.

The Obozrevatel news agency quotes Viktor Shokin as saying that the above-mentioned version is only one of the key versions, but there are many versions by the way. There are even rather versions like “he walked, suddenly fell, and broke his head (and found himself in the forest without his head?). As could be expected, there is also a version saying that the journalist could have been killed by a group of “werewolves” (it was reported that a criminal group of Ukraine police staff was unmasked in connection with the case) who allegedly killed the journalist because of his debts. There are several more versions of the assassination.

As for the key version, Viktor Shokin said in an interview to the ForUm Internet edition that “there were several customers of the tape scandal; all of them are Ukrainians.” The scandal is said to be designed to discredit president of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma. Although there are lots of versions of the assassination, the Prosecutor’s Office seems to be sure that these people organized the assassination and only after that they made the tapes in accordance with the situation (or did they already have the tapes according to which the crime was staged?). Moreover, the Prosecutor’s Office says it knows the names of these people; however, “if we right now name the people we suspect, they will immediately leave the country.” In addition, nobody in Ukraine is even making surmises about the names of these people; it is perfectly clear that those who blame President Kuchma for the assassination, will be accused for the crime this time.

Viktor Shokin also told journalists that one more independent expertise of the body found in the forest and considered to be the body of journalist Gongadze will be held in Switzerland in the second half of January 2003. French expert Jean Rivoli will take part in the expertise as well. It is also planned that an investigator and a forensic expert from Ukraine will take part in the expertise in Switzerland.

Not so long ago (in September 2002), Ukrainian Prosecutor General Svyatoslav Piskun said that he was “100% sure” that the body found in the forest belonged to journalist Georgy Gongadze. He said that had been proven by the autopsy held by the central bureau of the forensic medical expert commission of the Ukraine Health Ministry within August 6 – September 2, 2002. At the same time, some new evidence was mentioned, which allowed the autopsy of the body in Ukraine, without further DNA investigation. Let’s wait and see what the independent experts will say this time.

We should mention that the beheaded body of journalist Gongadze (if it is his body indeed) isn’t yet buried. The founder of the newspaper Ukrainskaya Pravda disappeared on September 16, 2000; however, the investigation has not achieved any results yet.

On Tuesday, one more press conference was held by the Supreme Rada deputy, head of the commission for investigation of the assassinations of journalists Georgy Gongadze and Igor Alexandrov, Grigory Omelchenko. Journalists had an opportunity to see the first issues of the book “Who Is Who On President Kuchma’s Sofa” by Major Melnichenko. The book contains the deciphering of the tape records made in the presidential office. The book is very likely to become a political best seller. In the preface, Nikolay Melnichenko says that the very idea of bugging the president’s conversations was hard for him, but the process of bugging was easy, as the system of presidential security was very weak.

Andrey Lubensky PRAVDA.Ru Ukraine Kiev

Translated by Maria Gousseva

Read the original in Russian: https://www.pravda.ru/world/8107-gongadze/

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