Alexander Gorobets: Council of Europe insists on completion of Gongadze case

A PACE session is being held in Strasbourg between January 21-25. Yesterday, Ukrainian problems were discussed at the session. A report bu the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers for Ukraine was delivered at the session. In the words of Walter Schwimmer, the Council of Europe Secretary General, one of the Council’s top-priorities is assistance of the development of independent mass media in Ukraine. The realization of the objective will make for the strengthening of freedom of speech in Ukraine and, consequently, of other democratic principles in the country. The Council of Europe’s Committee pointed to the considerable progress of democratic reforms in Ukraine. However, the council will still keep an eye on the investigation of the assassination of journalist Georgy Gongadze. The report on Ukraine was delivered by member of the PACE monitoring committee for Ukraine Hanne Severinsen. She said that the investigation of the case was in a deadlock and PACE was to press for the creation of an international committee of inquiry.

Chairman of the Council’s Committee of Ministers, Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Antanas Valionis, said that the committee is following the investigation of the assassination and insists on an open and complete investigation of the case.

Antanas Valionis said that the committee did not institute an international committee of inquiry, because it was prevented by the Ukrainian legislation. At the same time, during his visit to Ukraine in December 2001, Antanas Valionis told the Ukrainian authorities about the necessity of the completion of the “Gongadze case."

Alexander Gorobets PRAVDA.Ru Kiev Ukraine

Translated by Maria Gousseva

In the photo: journalist Georgy Gongadze

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