Kuchma backs Smeshko's initiative to launch criminal proceedings against Melnychenko

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April 14, 2011, 3:08 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

Ukrainian former president Leonid Kuchma

Second Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma (1994-2005) has said that criminal cases should be opened against former State Guard department officer Mykola Melnychenko. "I know that such a question was raised by [former SBU Chief Ihor] Smeshko. And today he said that a respective document had been passed to the prosecutor general in December, in which accusations are made against Melnychenko and which describes what accusations [were made]," he told reporters on Thursday after leaving the building of the Prosecutor General's Office.

When asked whether he supports such an initiative, Kuchma said: "Of course. Can it be otherwise? We will never respect ourselves, and nobody in the world will respect us, if we cannot defend ourselves. This is a disgrace. The whole world is laughing at us."
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