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You're reading: Lytvyn: Melnychenko trying to mislead Gongadze murder investigators

Claims by former State Security Guard Major Mykola Melnychenko that his life and the lives of a number of Ukrainian officials are in danger aim to divert investigators from finding the actual masterminds behind the murder of reporter Georgy Gongadze, Verkhovna Rada Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn said.

"I do not comment on stupidities. And if he is alarmed by something and is seeking additional argument for himself, that is his personal matter," Lytvyn told a press conference on Monday.

He was responding to journalists over Melnychenko‘s claims of the alleged involvement of Lytvyn and Ukraine’s second president, Leonid Kuchma, in organizing persecution of Melnychenko and death threats against former Security Council Secretary Yevhen Marchuk and Socialist leader Oleksandr Moroz.

"Sooner or later the inquiry must, and obviously will, find those who organized the eavesdropping on the country’s first office and then edited those tapes or got them edited, and are directly involved in the Georgy Gongadze case," he said.

"And I think that someone started feeling hot because the truth is being approached precisely in this direction. And today they once again want to steer this case in the direction, in which they have been steering it for ten or almost eleven years," Lytvyn said.

On July 29, 2011, the Kyiv Court of Appeals upheld a Pechersky District Court of Kyiv ruling of June 23, 2011, that canceled a resolution by former Prosecutor General Sviatoslav Piskun dated March 1, 2005, which closed a criminal case against Melnychenko.

The criminal case was opened against Melnychenko for allegedly leaking state secrets, abuse of office and the use of forged documents.

On Oct. 14, the Prosecutor General’s Office said that Melnychenko twice attempted to leave Ukrainian territory and that on Sept. 23, an SBU investigator issued a resolution to put him on the wanted list.

The office recalled that as part of the investigation into a criminal case opened against Melnychenko, in order to prevent possible attempts to evade investigation, a decision had been made to impose a ban on his foreign travel pending the completion of a pretrial investigation.

According to earlier reports, Melnychenko stayed in the United States. Later he left for Israel.

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