Lawyer of Gongadze's widow sees grounds for criminal charges against Kuchma

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March 22, 2011, 12:19 p.m. | Politics — by Interfax-Ukraine
Valentyna Telychenko, the lawyer for Myroslava Gongadze, the widow of journalist Georgy Gongadze, believes that the actions of the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine are inconsistent, and are evidence of there being political influence on the agency. "Sooner or later, the Prosecutor General's Office had to determine whether there was evidence of a crime in the actions of [second Ukrainian President Leonid] Kuchma. However, the actions of the prosecutor's office are very inconsistent," Telychenko told Interfax-Ukraine on Tuesday, commenting on media reports about the opening of a criminal case by the PGO against Kuchma in connection with the murder of Gongadze.

Telychenko stressed that until recently the prosecutor's office had been arguing that this was not a premeditated murder committed by former Chief of the External Surveillance Department at the Ukrainian Interior Ministry Oleksiy Pukach and ordered by other persons. The PGO was even putting pressure on judges in this matter, the lawyer said.

"This indicates that the actions of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine were influenced by politics and political interests," Telychenko said.

The lawyer stressed that she could not say whether Kuchma was guilty or not.

"But there are grounds to institute criminal proceedings against him," she said.

She said that, not only Kuchma, but also others could be charged with being involved in this murder.
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Anonymous March 22, 2011, 5:03 p.m.    

Kuchma, as President, held complete immunity against any form of prosecution. The president is the only person who held absolute and absolute immunity. In order for him to be prosecuted he would still need to be impeached for his actions. As it stands he holds entitlement to the title of President for life unless he is impeached.

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Anonymous March 22, 2011, 6:06 p.m.    

No matter what transpires against Kuchma....his reputation and stature in the world is fatally diminished. It is a lose-lose scenario for both Kuchma and Yanukovych. This story is being trumpetted around the globe....hard to put that genie back in the bottle. Immunity or will be impossible for Kuchma to pretend that he is anything other than a rough thug....all thanks to Yanukovych( who is no better). These guys might just devour each other.

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