Mother of murdered journalist Gongadze calls for politicians not to hold PR campaigns on 'Gongadze case'

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June 22, 2010, 2:14 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine
Lesia Gongadze, the mother of the murdered journalist Georgiy Gongadze, has called for politicians not to hold PR campaigns regarding the "Gongadze case." She said this to reporters in Kyiv on Monday after a meeting with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

"It’s time to leave in peace Ukraine and this people, who have been living out this horror story for 10 years, and release Ukraine from this game of dice, and let political forces not hold PR campaigns regarding this, and [let them] not come to these symbolic graves - let the monument to Gongadze be removed," she said.

She called the behavior of politicians regarding the "Gongadze case" immoral.

In addition, she said such a situation negatively influenced "on the nervous state of society and her personally."

According to her, she can't bury the body that people have said is her son, as she isn't sure it is that of Georgiy Gongadze.

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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