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Kuchma charged in reporter's death (updated)

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Mar. 24, 2011 18:14
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An August 2000 photo from files showing journalist Heorhiy Gongadze, who wrote about top-level corruption during the term in office of former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, in Kiev, Ukraine, just a month before his abduction and brutal killing. Ukrainian prosecutors said Tuesday, March 22, 2011.
Photo by AP
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma says he has been charged in the brutal slaying of an investigative reporter over 10 years ago.
Kuchma spoke Thursday after the latest round of questioning by investigators. He would not specify the nature of the charges.

The Prosecutor General's Office suspects Kuchma of abuse of office in giving illegal orders to his subordinates that eventually led to the killing of Heorhiy Gongadze in 2000. Prosecutors declined immediate comment Thursday.

Gongadze, who investigated cases of high-level corruption, was kidnapped, beaten, strangled and decapitated.

The murder sparked mass protests against Kuchma after the release of tape recordings in which a voice that sounds like Kuchma's is heard conspiring against Gongadze.

Kuchma denies the accusations.
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