Ukraine's parliamentary speaker calls accusations of killing of journalist ‘political provocation’

Ukraine's Parliamentary speaker said Thursday that accusations he had instigated the killing of an investigative journalist were a 'political provocation.'

Last month, a parliamentary commission investigating the kidnapping and killing of Heorhiy Gongadze five years ago accused Volodymyr Lytvyn of instigating the slaying.

Gongadze, an Internet journalist who wrote about high-level corruption under former President Leonid Kuchma, was kidnapped and killed in 2000. His decapitated body was found in a forest outside Kiev, the Ap reports.

The commission's findings stemmed from recordings in which voices resembling those of Lytvyn, former President Leonid Kuchma and other officials are heard allegedly conspiring against Gongadze.

"International experts have said the recordings contained certain words, certain sentences that were added," Lytvyn told the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe after a speech marking the 10th anniversary of Ukraine's links with the human rights watchdog.

Speaking in Brussels during his first visit to the European Union headquarters, Ukrainian new Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov said the government cannot interfere in the investigation. AM

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