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FBI denied access to Gongadze Evidence

A team of four special agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrived in Kyiv in April to help in the investigation of the killing of Heorhiy Gongadze in September 2000. At a meeting with the Prosecutor-General's Office, Deputy Prosecutor-General Oleksiy Bahanets informed the agents that they will not be given access to files or material evidence in the case, UNIAN reported on 12 April. On 16 April, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv issued a press release in which it stated: "The Government of Ukraine invited a team of FBI experts in homicide investigations to consult with Ukrainian investigators in the Heorhiy Gongadze case." "The team met with investigators in the Office of the Procurator General, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the Security Service of Ukraine." "The objective of the FBI team was to exchange ideas on methodology and strategies related to the Gongadze investigation. The team was not here to conduct its own investigation. Unfortunately, Ukrainian law enforcement officials asserted that Ukrainian law prohibits sharing any information that is not in the public domain, and said they were unable to discuss any aspects of the case, share evidence, or conduct a joint site inspection. Because of this, the FBI team could not provide suggestions that might help Ukrainian law enforcement authorities advance the investigation of the murder of Heorhiy Gongadze." They were also told that they can, if they wish, interview Yuriy Kravchenko, former head of the Ukraine's Interior Ministry, and Leonid Derkach, head of the Ukrainian security service, who are both forbidden by law from disclosing anything they know about the case.


"Ukraine gives corruption a bad name." George Soros

(RFE/RL 19.iv.02)

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