Afrique Ameriques Asie Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Ukraine25 September 2006

Gongadze trial hamstrung by prosecutor-general’s incompetence

Reporters Without Borders called for prosecutor-general Oleksandr Medvedenko to be replaced by an independent figure after Gongadze trial hearings on 14 and 20 September cast fresh doubt on the will of the Ukrainian justice system to resolve the case.

“His lack of determination to run this trial properly is doing serious harm to the investigation,” the worldwide press freedom organisation said.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko said on the sixth anniversary of Gongadze’s disappearance on 14 September, “The name of Géorgiy Gongadze has become a symbol for Ukraine of political change and freedom of expression.” It was announced that an ad hoc committee will be set up to monitor the progress of investigations.

The latest developments in the case contradict these optimistic statements, the organisation said. The impossibility of authenticating tapes made by ex president Leonid Kuchma’s then bodyguard Mykola Melnychenko, proving the implication of Kuchma and his interior minister Yuri Kravchenko, in the Gongadze murder, was preventing them being charged. “We do not unfortunately have the originals. Mykola Melnychenko has left Ukraine,” the prosecutor-general said.

According to information Reporters Without Borders has obtained, Medvedenko is being accused of trying to influence the outcome of the Gongadze case and of lying about the attitude of Melnychenko, who is reportedly willing to testify.

Follow the trial

  In this country
2 June - Ukraine
Potential witness’s death deals severe blow to probe into journalist’s murder
15 March - Ukraine
Three former policemen convicted of Gongadze murder but instigators have yet to identified
12 February - Ukraine
Gongadze murder trial resumes in Kiev
14 September - Ukraine
Political will lacking to solve Gongadze murder seven years after his death
27 August - Ukraine
Bomb hoax against Russian-language daily, photographer attacked

in the annual report
Ukraine - Annual Report 2008
Ukraine - Annual report 2007
Ukraine - 2006 Annual report

Europe press releases
4 June - Kosovo
Rrokum TV station still excluded by national broadcasting network
2 June - Turkey
Woman journalist held for past five weeks on baseless charge of link to armed group
2 June - Russia
Journalist seeks asylum in Finland after being convicted for prison torture articles
29 May - France
Regrettable decision by appeal court to lift ban on magazine only if offending photo is covered up
28 May - Azerbaijan
Court breaks law by refusing to release journalist on health grounds

5 February 2009 - Bulgaria
“Resignation or resistance, Bulgaria’s embattled press hesitates”
28 January 2009 - Russia
Fact-finding visit : Moscow double murder may have been linked to November attack on local newspaper editor
27 June 2008 - Turkey
Investigation report into the detention of journalist Haci Bogatekin, imprisoned for more than two months and facing ten and a half years in prison

Sign the petitions
Jusuf Ruzimuradov

Europe archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives