Maj. Melnichenko keeps getting on Ukraine’s nerves

News agencies inform, Ukrainian General Office of Public Prosecutor suspended investigation of the case of former presidential security officer Nikolay Melnichenko. Deputy Public Prosecutor of Ukraine Alexey Baganets told journalists: “Despite the fact that we know the ex-major’s whereabouts and twice appealed to the USA for his extradition, Melnichenko was not delivered up.” The USA explains the refusal with the fact that no extradition agreement was signed by the countries.

Earlier PRAVDA.Ru published, criminal proceedings had been instituted as concerning Nikolay Melnichenko on January 4, 2001, he had been charged with committing two grave crimes: abuse of authority and state secret disclosure. New Criminal Code of Ukraine provides for an imprisonment of 7 to 10 years for the first crime and of 5 to 8 years for the second one. Nikolay Melnichenko is also accused of falsification of documents. Earlier the ex-major had been incriminated in calumny as well; but according to the new Criminal Code of Ukraine, the felony was decriminalized, and it was decided to close the case on this charge.

After presentation of records allegedly taped in the office of Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma by Nikolay Melnichenko, several opposition powers accused the president of connection with the assassination of journalist Georgy Gongadze, of putting pressure on politicians, journalists and judges. A criminal case was instituted on the journalist assassination, but the crime is not yet disclosed.

Yesterday the problem of tapes presented by Nikolay Melnichenko was discussed at a Ukrainian National Security Council session. It was touched upon alleged illegal armament sales by Ukraine against the UN Security Council sanctions. Ukrainian officials have come to a conclusion that the accusations are designed to force Ukraine out of the world armament market.

Alexander Gorobets PRAVDA.Ru Kiev Ukraine

Translated by Maria Gousseva

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