During trial, Pukach called Gongadze dangerous criminal and spy – lawyer Telychenko
Valentyna Telychenko, the lawyer of Myroslava Gongadze, claims that Oleksiy Pukach, accused of the murder of journalist Georgy Gongadze, "insists that, when killing Gongadze, he played almost the savior of the Fatherland", Segodnya reports.
According to Telychenko, Oleksiy Pukach argued that the journalist was a dangerous criminal, a spy and had a "negative attitude to that-time president."
"In my opinion, there was very little conventional wisdom in the words of Pukach. Even more, sometimes he told just nonsense. But he fully exercised his right to perform in the debates. I cant say that this man is inadequate – I’m not a doctor. But, undoubtedly, he was adequate in 2000, when he killed Gongadze. We studied in court the personal case of Pukach. An inadequate person would not become a general, would not occupy the post of criminal intelligence chief, and would not reach other career heights, "- said the lawyer.
Prosecutor Volodymyr Shylov claimed that the defendant showed no remorse for his actions.
Instead, Pukach’s lawyer Georgiy Demidenko says that the defendant repented and apologized publicly, with "his eyes in tears." In response to the objection of journalists that neither the prosecutor nor defense attorneys have not noticed, the lawyer said: "They have not seen. Or heard. I was sitting next to the cage, where there was Pukach. And I answer for my words. Besides, the sessions of trial are recorded. So everyone can check it."
Gongadze went missing in Kyiv on Sept.16, 2000. A decapitated corpse, which experts claimed could be that of Gongadze, was found in a forest outside Kyiv in November 2000. In May 2010, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Oleksandr Medvedko stated that fragments of a skull found in July 2009 in Kyiv region belonged to Gongadze.
However, the body has yet to be buried, as the journalist's mother Lesia Gongadze refuses to recognize that it belongs to her son.
Pukach, the former head of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry's external surveillance department, who had long been on the wanted list, was detained in Zhytomyr region on July 21, 2009, and has been kept in custody since then.
In December 2010, the Prosecutor General's Office announced that the investigation into the criminal case was over. The investigation confirmed that Pukach killed the journalist by order of then Interior Minister Yuriy Kravchenko.
Kyiv's Pechersky District Court has been considering the criminal case against Pukach since April 2011.
In November 2000, a transcript of several tapes pointing to the involvement of then Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma and other officials in a number of high-profile crimes, including the Gongadze murder, was published in the parliament. Those tapes were allegedly recorded by Melnychenko. However, the court refused to include Melnychenko's tapes as evidence in the case.