Kyiv, January 25 (Ukraine News) – Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office will appeal against the ruling of the Court of Appeal to uphold the closing of a criminal case against Ukraine’s second president, Leonid Kuchma, related to his suspected involvement in the murder of journalist Georgy Gongadze.
“The ruling has come into force, but the Prosecutor General’s Office has a right to appeal to the Higher Specialized Court for civil and criminal cases. We will write such an appeal,” Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka in an exclusive interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
As reported, on January 20, the court of appeals in Kyiv upheld the decision to close criminal case against Kuchma [whose term in office lasted from 1995 to 2005] on his suspected involvement in Gongadze’s murder.
A criminal case was opened against Kuchma on March 21, 2011. He was charged with abuse of power and official authority, which subsequently led to the murder of journalist Georgy Gongadze (Part 3, Article 166 of the 1960 Criminal Code). Tapes secretly recorded by Kuchma’s former bodyguard Mykola Melnychenko in the president’s office were declared to be material evidence in the case.
On December 13, 2011, Kyiv Pechersky District Court cancelled an order by the Prosecutor General’s Office to open a criminal case against Kuchma on suspicion of his involvement in Gongadze’s murder.
The court ruled that Melnychenko’s tapes were obtained illegally and thus cannot serve as evidence in the criminal case against Kuchma.
[UA EUROPE EEU EMRG POL PRO]