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Medvedko: Prosecutor s planning to complete investigation into Gongadze case in July-August

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June 29, 2010, 4:31 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

The Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine is planning to complete an investigation into the murder of Ukrainian journalist Georgy Gongadze in July or August this year

The Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine is planning to complete an investigation into the murder of Ukrainian journalist Georgy Gongadze in July or August this year, Prosecutor General Oleksandr Medvedko has said. He said this at a meeting of the Public Humanitarian Council of the Ukrainian president in Kyiv on Tuesday.

"I understand that each of you will have questions regarding the case on Gongadze's murder. I do recognize that this criminal case has been investigated for a long time. There are objective and subjective reasons here... As prosecutor general, I want to state in the presence of the president of our country that we will announce the completion of this criminal case in July or August," Medvedko said.

As reported, journalist Georgiy Gongadze disappeared in Kyiv on September 16, 2000. Experts came to the conclusion that a headless corpse found in a forest in Tarascha district in Kyiv region in November of the same year was likely to be his body.

The body remains unburied, as the journalist's mother has refused to have it interred before the head is found.

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Oleksandr Medvedko said on June 17 that skull fragments found in Kyiv region in July 2009 were those of Gongadze.

In 2008, three former officials of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry's foreign surveillance department and criminal intelligence unit - Colonels Valeriy Kostenko and Mykola Protasov, and Major Oleksandr Popovych, were found guilty of killing the journalist and sentenced to 12 (Kostenko and Popovych) and 13 (Protasov) years in prison.

Another suspect in the case, Oleksiy Pukach, the former chief of the main criminal investigation department at the ministry's foreign surveillance unit, who was long on the wanted list, was arrested in Zhytomyr region on July 21, 2009, as a result of a joint operation by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and the Prosecutor General's Office. On July 23, Kyiv Pechersky district court decided to remand Pukach, who was charged with being involved with Gongadze murder, in custody.

Those who ordered Gongadze's murder have yet to be identified.
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