Ukraine lacks `political will` to solve Gongadze case

09:50, 13 September 2007
614 0

Third report on Gongadze case presented in Kyiv

Ukrainian authorities don`t have the political will to investigate the case of murdered journalist Heorhiy Gongadze, according to a new report by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), according to RFE/RL.

The report was presented today in Kyiv by Simon Pirani, an IFJ representative. Pirani said that a change of investigators has resulted in a deterioration of the probe.

Gongadze, an investigative journalist whose articles often targeted the administration of former President Leonid Kuchma, disappeared in September 2000. His decapitated body was discovered in a forest near Kyiv shortly thereafter.

His widow, Myroslava Gongadze, said today that the investigation has been deadlocked for the last year. "I was always dissatisfied with the process of the investigation. Sure, I wanted [them] to do a lot more," she said.

"Nevertheless, there were people who could at least have passed the parts of the case to the court, and it was crucially important," Myroslava Gongadze added. "Those people were very deep into the case and were close to getting a result regarding the orders [of the murder]. Unfortunately, they put aside the investigation process just when they were as close to [finding] a resolution as ever."

The report recommends that the Ukrainian government makes public the priorities of the investigation. It also recommends that criminal cases be launched against those who have blocked the work of investigators.

The authors of the report have also called on the Council of Europe to express concern at officials within the Prosecutor-General`s Office and politicians that they say are obstructing the investigation.

If you see a spelling error on our site, select it and press Ctrl+Enter