Friday, March 25, 2016

Journalist Gongadze buried in Kyiv 15 years after his murder

March 25, 2016 (KyivPost) Several hundred people came to pay their respects to Georgiy Gongadze, a Ukrainian journalist killed in 2000, at the funeral in Kyiv on March 22. Gongadze was buried in the yard of the Mykola Naberezhny Church in Kyiv's Podil district. The journalist who founded online newspaper Ukrainska Pravda was kidnapped and murdered on Sept. 16, 2000. His decapitated body was discovered on Nov. 2 in the forest in Kyiv Oblast. In 2008, the court convicted three police officers to various prison terms. In 2013, ex-police top official Oleksiy Pukach was convicted, too. He admitted to be the main executor of the murder.

The investigation never found who ordered the murder. The court verdict in 2013 said it was former Interior Minister Yuri Kravchenko, who killed himself in 2005 on the day he was supposed to be questioned about the Gongadze case. Mayor Mykola Melnychenko who worked in the security service for ex-President Leonid Kuchma, released the tapes of the phone calls that have a person with a voice resembling Kuchma's ordering to "deal with Gongadze." Gongadze's widow Myroslava Gongadze, head of Voice of America's Ukrainian service, visited the funeral along with her two daughters. After the murder, the family relocated to the U.S.