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Last Updated: Friday, 18 June, 2004, 09:17 GMT 10:17 UK
Ukraine MPs call for impeachment
By Helen Fawkes
BBC correspondent in Kiev

Georgiy Gongadze
Georgiy Gongadze's body was found in woods
A parliamentary committee in Ukraine has said the president should be impeached over the murder of an opposition journalist.

Journalist Georgiy Gongadze, who wrote for a news website, was killed in 2000 but no-one has yet been charged.

President Leonid Kuchma, who has repeatedly denied any part in the murder, has immunity from prosecution.

For almost four years the unsolved murder has been a high profile case for the opposition and human rights groups.

The journalist, who crusaded against corruption in Ukraine, was abducted from Kiev and his decapitated body was later found in woods outside the capital.

The special parliamentary committee which has been examining events surrounding the killing, said that Mr Kuchma should be impeached.

It is also to recommend that the prosecutor general bring criminal proceedings against the Ukrainian leader.

The committee, which is dominated by opposition MPs, alleges that it can link Mr Kuchma to the case although it admitted that it could not prove that he organised the murder of the internet journalist.

A date now has to be scheduled for the committee to present its findings to the Ukraine parliament.

With a presidential election just months away, these recommendations are likely to be damaging for Mr Kuchma and his allies including his chosen successor, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.


SEE ALSO:
Ukraine hopes for sell-off boost
12 May 04  |  Business
Ukraine MPs vote against reforms
08 Apr 04  |  Europe
Country profile: Ukraine
21 Apr 04  |  Country profiles
Kuchma gets chance of third term
30 Dec 03  |  Europe


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