MYROSLAVA GONGADZE: AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE, LEONID KUCHMA
On September 16th one year will have passed since my husband, Heorhiy Gongadze, an independent journalist known for his articles and statements critical of the regime in Ukraine, and you personally, disappeared after being under surveillance and psychological threats. At that time you stated that you will personally supervise the investigation of his case.
During this year of investigation, I spent hundreds of hours with law enforcement agencies. First I was forced to prove to them that a crime had been committed against Heorhiy Gongadze and that it was directly related to his professional activity. The General Prosecutors Office of Ukraine refused to recognize us, his family, as people who had suffered, stating that since no crime had been committed there can be no victims. After Heorhiy's headless body was discovered in the vicinity of the village of Tarascha near Kyiv, I attempted to identify the remains and body jewelry found by the burial place for one month. Afterwards, with the help of friends, family and society a number of examinations were conducted none of which could establish the cause and time of death. Law enforcement agencies, which kept the corpse for 10 days without refrigeration, began examinations of the corpse even before it was identified, have done everything to obscure any facts which shed light on this crime.
Today, one year after the murder of Heorhiy, I am writing this letter, to remind you, and the world community, that this killing, which provoked the biggest political crisis in the ten year history of an independent Ukraine, and whose investigation was demanded by influential international organizations, politicians and world leaders still remains unsolved.
There is no investigation of this case.
The law enforcement agencies continue to ignore the demands of his relatives.
Facts which point to the involvement of President Kuchma in the killing still have not been explained.
The body of my husband, Heorhiy Gongadze has not been laid to rest till this day.
Throughout the so-called "investigation" I tried to help and provide guidance, to find the truth. I met numerous times with the heads of the law enforcement agencies of Ukraine and this gives me the right to state that without an international investigation, without the inclusion of foreign experts, the Ukrainian law enforcement authorities will be unable to solve this crime. And until such an independent investigation is called and the charges against you cleared, I shall consider you responsible for destroying my husband Heorhiy Gongadze.
From the very beginning of the investigation of the killing of my husband, I declared that the Gongadze case will differ from tens of other crimes committed against political activists and journalists in Ukraine. For years now investigations in such well known cases have gone unsolved.
Who ordered the killing of the newspaper editor Boris Derevyanko?
Where did Mykhaylo Boychyshyn, a leader of the Rukh party disappear?
Who murdered the member of parliament Vadym Het'man?
What really happened to Vyacheslav Chornovil?
Who murdered Ihor Aleksandrov?
Who destroyed Heorhiy Gongadze?
I am convinced that I am asking these questions of the right person. You, as the President, are responsible for the situation in the country and for how officials whom you appoint perform their duties.
You, Leonid Kuchma, as the President of Ukraine, carry the responsibility for the existence of corruption, fear and the manipulation of the government in Ukraine. You are responsible for that system which allows journalists to be murdered. Until the investigations of crimes against journalists and politicians in Ukraine are complete and the truth established, the Ukrainian government will not be able to call itself democratic and Ukraine cannot be considered a stable European country where human rights and freedom of the press are respected.
You, the President of Ukraine, Leonid Kuchma, carry the responsibility for the future of this country in the eyes of every one of its 50 million inhabitants, in the eyes of millions of Ukrainians living overseas and in the eyes of the world.
12 September 2001
On-Line Pravda, 15-Sep-2001 english.pravda.ru/main/2001/09/15/15255.html