Spy scandal in Ukraine: some secret documents published

On Wednesday, Chairman of the Supreme Rada (Ukraine's parliament) committee for freedom of expression Nikolai Tomenko published some secret documents that he had got hold of through Ukraine's agent Gen. Valery Kravchenko in Germany.

Fomenko presented four fragments of the documents he had received from the general. Among them was some material on collecting information about an the author of a report about human organs smuggling, that was not broadcast in Europe. There was also a fragment about spying on Ukrainian officials going abroad; a fragment from the document on gathering information about the conference attended by former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in Ukraine and the material about Ukrainian delegations' stay abroad.

Tomenko also said that yesterday's statement of Ukraine's Prosecutor General Gennady Vasiliev about his possible prosecution for making secret documents public was groundless and legally unsubstantiated.

According to the parliamentarian, to be on the safe side, he had not published the documents he had received from the general but the files he had in his PC. Mr. Tomenko specified he had not mentioned the codes, numbers, the original data and dates of the documents.

Meanwhile, yesterday Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office refused to start a criminal case on the basis of statements of the former counsellor of the Ukrainian embassy in Germany, Major General Kravchenko.

Having studied the documents that Mr. Kravchenko had forwarded to the Prosecutor's Office, experts discovered no law violations in it, said Ukrainian Prosecutor General Gennady Vasiliyev.

On February 18th, 2004 Kravchenko said in a live interview with the German Wave radio station that he had received instructions "to spy on the Supreme Rada's opposition deputies and government members from ministers and up to higher ranks." "I have materials about criminal activities of the Kuchma regime," said Kravchenko.

Ukraine's security service has described such accusations as "absurd in essence" and as "the officer's deliberate provocation." Vasiliev said that letters to the embassy contained no instructions to follow Ukrainian politicians.

In his words, Kravchenko was instructed to find out who invited Ukrainian politicians to Germany, their agenda and negotiations, and what documents they signed. Such actions are legal and aimed to uphold Ukraine's interests, explained Vasiliev.

At the same time, Ukraine's Prosecutor General said that if Kravchenko published any secret information, the Prosecutor General's Office would consider bringing him to book.

Major General served as the counsellor of the Ukrainian embassy in Germany but has been fired and is staying there as a private person. According to the Ukrainian foreign ministry, Kravchenko was dismissed for violating Ukraine's legislation on labour and the embassy's statute."

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