Court upholds resolution to open criminal case against Melnychenko

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Dec. 26, 2011, 12:38 p.m. | Politics — by Interfax-Ukraine
Kyiv Pechersky District Court has recognized as lawful a resolution of the Prosecutor General's Office dated 2001 to open a criminal case against former major of the State Department of Guard Mykola Melnychenko. Judge of Pechersky District Court Viktoriya Harkava announced this decision on Monday thus dismissing a complaint by Melnychenko's defense lawyer Mykola Nedilko.

The lawyer told reporters that they planned to appeal against this decision.

Nedilko expressed bewilderment at the fact that the court recognized as illegal the institution of a criminal case against Ukraine's former president Leonid Kuchma under the same article of the Criminal Code, on which the charges against Melnychenko are based.

According to the defense counsel, this shows that there are double standards in the administration of justice in Ukraine.

On July 29, 2011, the Appeal Court of Kyiv has sustained the decision of Pechersky District Court of Kyiv dated June 23, 2011, which canceled the resolution by former Prosecutor General Sviatoslav Piskun dated March 1, 2005, which closed a criminal case against Melnychenko.

The criminal case was opened against former major of the State Department of Guard Mykola Melnychenko regarding the leaking of state secrets, abuse of office and usage of the forged documents.

On Dec. 13, 2011, Kyiv Pechersky District Court cancelled an order by the Prosecutor General's Office to open a criminal case against Ukraine's second president (1994-2005) Leonid Kuchma on suspicion of his involvement in the murder of journalist Georgy Gongadze.

A criminal case was opened against Kuchma on March 21, 2011. He is 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.

The court ruled that Melnychenko's tapes were obtained illegally and thus cannot serve as evidence in the criminal case against Kuchma.

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