By: E&P Staff
Ukrainian officials arrested three men Tuesday in connection with the 2000 murder and beheading of Georgiy Gongadze, a journalist who railed against high-level government corruption.
Gongadze, the founder of the crusading web site Ukrayinska Pravda, attacked what he saw as the incompetent and corrupt administration of Kuchma.
The suspects’ identities have not been made public, but a law enforcement official told the press that they were all senior police officers. Then president, Leonid Kuchma, has also been connected to Gongadze’s death; he was implicated in the abduction and murder when secret recordings were released of Kuchma instructing senior members of his administration to “take care” of Gongadze.
Gongadze, whose decapitated corpse was found weeks after he was last seen in Kiev, was emblematic of Ukrainian democracy. His murder was used to collect support for candidate Viktor Yushchenko, who, if elected, promised to pursue Gongadze’s killers. Since his January inauguration, he has already begun opening cases and investigating crimes allegedly carried out by the former administration.
In a statement, Yushchenko announced the arrests and said: “We have grounds to say that the Gongadze murder case has been solved.”