A small but significant measure of justice came on Jan. 29, more than 12 years later, when former police general Oleksiy Pukach was convicted in the murder – becoming the fourth former police officer found guilty and imprisoned for Gongadze’s horrible death.
But there’s no reason for celebration. The years of cover-up and stonewalling continue today. The inescapable conclusion is that Ukraine’s justice system is still completely manipulated by politicians and prosecutors for their own ends.
Even though Pukach had clearly testified that Kuchma and his then- chief of staff Volodymyr Lytvyn had given the order to kill Gongadze, neither were served with subpoenas to appear in court for questioning. The court’s ruling would have the nation believe that the order to kill Gongadze originated with Pukach’s direct supervisor, Yuriy Kravchenko, the former interior minister who died of two gunshots to the head in 2005. His death was suspiciously ruled a suicide. Kravchenko is now being used in death as a convenient mastermind of the whole plot.