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  Thursday, November 21, 2019
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A court in Kiev sentenced three suspects in the murder
A court in Kiev sentenced three suspects in the murder of Ukrainian journalist Georgiy Gongadze to 12-13 years in prison on Saturday.

Gongadze, known for his criticism of the Ukrainian government, was kidnapped on September 16, 2000, and his body was found two months later in a wood near Kiev. The murder sparked protests against the then president, Leonid Kuchma.

The three defendants - Colonel Valeriy Kostenko, Colonel Mykola Protasov, and Major Oleksandr Popovych - were all senior Interior Ministry officers. They were arrested in August 2005.

The officers, while admitting the charges, said earlier that the killing was carried out on orders from Oleksa Pukach, who was the Interior Ministry's general responsible for surveillance of Gongadze at the time of the kidnapping.

Pukach evaded arrest and fled to Israel several years ago. He is on Ukraine's most-wanted list.


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