Reporters Without Borders today condemned the many interruptions and long adjournments that are slowing the progress of the trial of three policemen for the murder of journalist Georgy Gongadze in 2000.
The most recent hearing, on 2 February, was adjourned because two of the defendants, Mykola Protassov and Oleksandr Popovitch, felt faint and the court had to seek first aid for them. Both suffer from high blood pressure. Judge Irina Grigoryeva suggested that their feeling faint was due in part to the presence of parliamentarians in the courtroom.
It was the second time that Protassov requested medical attention since he took the witness stand, and just the latest of many interruptions - in one case lasting two weeks - since the trial began on 9 January.
The next hearing, scheduled for 8 February, will be held behind closed doors after the judges once again rejected a request by the lawyer representing Lessia Gongadze (the victim’s mother) for the public to be allowed to attend.