Ukraine: Police official sentenced to life

Jan. 30, 2013 at 8:30 AM
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KIEV, Ukraine, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- A Ukrainian court has sentenced a top police official to life in prison for the slaying of journalist Georgy Gongadze in September of 2000.

Oleksiy Pukach was convicted for his role in the murder of Gongadze who was investigating political corruption when he went missing, the Kyiv (Kiev) Post reported Wednesday.

Two other high-level former officials implicated in the disappearance, former President Leonid Kuchma and his former chief of staff Volodymyr Lytvyn, were not investigated by the Kyiv City Pechersk District Court, the newspaper said.

The lawyer for Gongadze's widow said she will file an appeal in an effort to bring those who ordered the journalist's slaying to justice.

"I will be satisfied when Kuchma and Lytvyn sit here next to me," Pukach said at his sentencing hearing.

Both Kuchma and Lytvyn have denied allegations of involvement in the abduction and killing of Gongadze, the founder of a website that was critical of authorities.

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