Ukraine - Gongadze case6 August 2002
Reporters Without Borders accorded status of plaintiff’s legal representative
Ukrainian public prosecutor Sviatoslav Piskun on 5 August accorded Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard the status of legal
representative of Lessia Gongadze in the September 2000 disappearance of her
son, journalist Georgy Gongadze, in which she is plaintiff. Reporters
Without Borders and Damocles Network, an organisation that combats impunity
in killings of journalists, welcome this development, believing it will help
the search for truth in this case.
Under Ukrainian legislation, the status of legal representative give the
Reporters Without Borders secretary-general the right to testify, president
evidence and make requests in the Gongadze case. The two organisations
nonetheless expect responses to all the requests that they have addressed to
the public prosecutor’s office in recent months. Using this status of
plaintiff’s legal representative, they also ask the prosecutor to open a new
investigation into the threats made against Georgy Gongadze in the weeks and
days preceding his disappearance.