Court extends detention of Pukach, allegedly involved in Gongadze murder, by two months

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Dec. 3, 2009, 8:14 p.m. | Ukraine — by Ukrainian News
The Kyiv Appeal Court has extended the period of detention of Oleksii Pukach, the former head of the Interior Affairs Ministry's department of criminal intelligence who is accused of involvement in the murder of journalist Georgy Gongadze, by two months. Yurii Boichenko, the head of the press service of the Prosecutor-General's Office, announced this to journalists. According to him, Pukach will remain in detention until he appears in court.

As earlier reported, a court extended the period of detention of Pukach by two months to four months in September.

The Security Service of Ukraine's deputy Chairman Vasyl Hrytsak said on Jul. 22 that Pukach had confessed that he was involved in the murder of Gongadze.

Operatives from the Prosecutor-General's Office and the Security Service of Ukraine detained Pukach in the Zhytomyr region on Jul. 21. The Pecherskyi District Court of Kyiv ordered detention of Pukach for two months on Jul. 23.

Gongadze disappeared on Sept. 16, 2000. His headless body was later found in the woods near Kyiv. Gongadze's disappearance triggered a political scandal in Ukraine, which centered on possible involvement of then-president Leonid Kuchma, the former head of the Ukrainian Presidential Administration Volodymyr Lytvyn, and the Security Service of Ukraine's former head Leonid Derkach in his murder.

Gongadze's widow, Myroslava, has said that the criminal case involving the murder of her husband will influence the results of the 2010 presidential elections.
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