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Ukrainian prosecutors order to finalize probe into case against former president's guard

January 09, 2013, 12:18 UTC+3
Melnichenko published the audio files he had made in the office of former President Leonid Kuchma during his official and unofficial meetings with a number of top politicians
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KIEV, January 9 (Itar-Tass) — The Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office cancelled the indictment in the case against former State Guard officer Major Nikolai Melnichenko and ordered to finalize the probe. Melnichenko is accused of divulging a state secret. The procedure was implemented by a PGO investigator within the framework of supervision over the probe, conducted by Ukraine's State Security Service,the PGO press service reported on Wednesday

The PGO did not explain the reason behind the measure, but made it clear that "additional investigative actions" were necessary.

Charges against Melnichenko were brought in October 2012.

Melnichenko, a former guard of ex-President Leonid Kuchma, is accused under several articles of the penal code. He secretly recorded conversations in the president’s office, and one of the records resulted in a political scandal.

Earlier, Melnichenko published the audio files he had made in the office of former President Leonid Kuchma during his official and unofficial meetings with a number of top politicians. A number of these files were related to the high-profile criminal case over the murder of Ukrainian journalist Georgy Gongadze.

Gongadze disappeared on September 16, 2000. Two weeks later, his decapitated body was found in a forest near Kiev. Alexander Moroz, the then speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, ordered to publish Melnichenko's audio files which allegedly confirmed Kuchma's involvement in the disappearance of the journalist.

The authenticity of the recordings has not been proven up to date, and Kuchma flatly denied his involvement, as did other top officials. In 2011 and 2012, courts of various levels ruled to drop the criminal prosecution of Kuchma over alleged involvement in the journalist's murder.

 

 

 

 

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