Kuchma charged in reporter's death (updated)

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March 24, 2011, 6:14 p.m. |
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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