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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 May, 2003, 13:06 GMT 14:06 UK
Ukraine official sentenced over journalist murder
Georgiy Gongadze
Gongadze went missing in September 2000

A court in Ukraine has sentenced a state prosecutor who investigated the murder of a prominent journalist, Georgiy Gongadze, to two-and-a-half years in prison for abuse of office and falsification of evidence.

The court found Serhiy Obozov guilty of forging documents and negligence in the investigation.

Obozov was the prosecutor of the Tarashcha district of the capital Kiev, where Gongadze's headless body was found in November 2000.

But Obozov was immediately released under Ukraine's amnesty laws, because he had a daughter to support at the time of the crime.

Allegations

Georgiy Gongadze was an outspoken critic of the Ukrainian authorities.

He attacked what he saw as an incompetent and corrupt government via his crusading website Ukrayinska Pravda.

He was reported missing in September 2000.

Tape recordings made secretly by President Leonid Kuchma's former bodyguard show the Ukrainian leader making apparent threats against Gongadze.

The president has repeatedly denied any involvement in the killing.

However, the allegations triggered a wave of street protests, calling for Mr Kuchma's resignation.




SEE ALSO:
Ukraine body is journalist's
11 Mar 03  |  Europe
Death, lies and audiotape - Ukraine-style
29 Nov 00  |  Media reports


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