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Ukraine - Gongadze case6 August 2002

Reporters Without Borders accorded status of plaintiff’s legal representative

image 223 x 259 (JPEG)  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.

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