Council of Europe urges Ukraine to continue investigation into Gongadze murder


The Council of Europe calls on the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine to continue investigating the circumstances surrounding the disappearance and murder of journalist Heorhii Gongadze.

Censor.NET reports citing Ukrinform referring to a decision by the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers overseeing member states' execution of judgments from the European Court of Human Rights.

According to the document, the Committee of Ministers has repeatedly called on the Prosecutor General's Office to continue the investigation into the circumstances behind the disappearance and murder of Heorhii Gongadze

Read more: Pukach, charged with journalist Gongadze murder, says unknown masked people put pressure on him

The committee demands that the former Ukrainian officials who have to do with the case be involved in the probe.

The decision also notes that the investigation into the Gongadze murder must be completed as soon as possible in accordance with the norms of the Council of Europe.

Founder of Ukrainska Pravda news website, journalist Heorhii Gongadze disappeared Sept. 16, 2000. His decapitated corpse was later found in the forest in Kyiv's vicinity. Ex-Chief of Interior Ministry's Directed Surveillance Department Oleksii Pukach was arrested on suspicion of the murder in a village in the Zhytomyr region July 21, 2009.

The investigation found that Pukach received a verbal order to eliminate Heorhii Gongadze from then Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Yurii Kravchenko. The criminal ring consisting of Interior Ministry officers Valerii Kostenko, Oleksandr Popovych (both sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2008), Mykola Protasov (got 13 years in prison in 2008) and led by Pukach turned out to be behind the murder committed Sept. 17, 2000.

The court found Pukach guilty and sentenced him to life imprisonment Jan. 23, 2013. Asked by the judge whether he agreed with the verdict, Pukach said: "I will agree with it as soon as I'm sharing my cell with Kuchma and Lytvyn." The Kyiv Court of Appeal upheld the verdict Jan. 6, 2016.
Источник: https://censor.net.ua/en/n456361