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Ukraine16 September 2002

Second anniversary of the disappearance of Georgiy Gongadze

(JPEG) Robert Ménard, Secretary-General of Reporters Without Borders, is in Kiev on the occasion of the second anniversary of the disappearance of Georgiy Gongadze. He will sign the necessary papers, at the Ukraine public prosecutor’s office, enabling him to become the official representative of the private party associated with the public prosecutor in the court action, Lessia and Myroslava Gongadze, the journalist’s mother and widow, a status that has been refused him up until now.

In order to uncover the truth and to help the investigation reach a conclusion, Robert Ménard is requesting that the public prosecutor allow him to study, with the help of an independent expert of his own choice, all the results of the previous expert reports as well as the texts of the documents by which these reports were commissioned. It is only after these documents have been examined that the family will agree to the burial of Georgiy Gongadze’s remains.

Robert Ménard is also asking the public prosecutor’s office to interview Mr Yarochenko, Mr Nazartchuk, Mr Salachenko and Mr Tchemenko, the four men who are reported to have been shadowing Mr Gongadze during the weeks prior to his disappearance. These facts have never been investigated.

Mr Gongadze, editor of the online newspaper, disappeared on 16 September 2000. His headless body was found on 2 November 2000. In the report published in 2001 after its investigative mission, Reporters Without Borders highlighted the deliberate obstruction of investigations by the state apparatus.

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