Valentyna Telychenko, the lawyer of Myroslava Gongadze, the wife of murdered journalist Georgy Gongadze, will insist on a new investigation into the case of the death of former Interior Minister of Ukraine Yuriy Kravchenko, Kyiv Post reported.
"I am surprised by the fact that the court declared that the fact that Kravchenko gave instructions to Pukach had been proven, and at the same time it refuses to admit the fact that the murder was ordered by someone. Pukach assumed that Kravchenko could be satisfied with the murder of journalist Gongadze. In turn, the court clearly declared that Pukach received instructions from a person, the case on whom was investigated separately, and it was Kravchenko, but then they say that the murder was not ordered," Telychenko said.
"I have not talked to my client, but I think we will appeal against the verdict. We have no doubt that Pukach's guilt has been proven, we agree with the severest legal punishment selected by the court, but I think that it is not enough to declare in the verdict that Pukach's motive was connected with his career aspirations, and another motive also should be mentioned – the murder was committed by someone's order – which is another component of a crime," the lawyer said.
Asked whether Pukach's last statement following the announcement of the verdict could be considered as an argument at a court of appeals, Telychenko said: "Pukach very clearly said during the trial that he had received clear instructions."
Telychenko noted that the text of the verdict contains numerous references to Kravchenko.
"We will also insist that the criminal case [to discover people that ordered the murder of Gongadze], which has been mentioned numerous times by the deputy prosecutor general, be investigate separately," she said.
The lawyer stated that no one holds investigatory proceedings in the case and promised to send relevant inquiries to the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine (PGO).
Gongadze went missing in Kyiv on September 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.
In December 2010, the PGO announced that the investigation into the criminal case was over. The investigation confirmed that Pukach killed the journalist by order of Kravchenko.
On March 4, 2005 Kravchenko was found shot dead in his house in Kyiv region. The day before he had been summoned for questioning on the Gongadze case.
In 2005 the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine stated that Kravchenko committed suicide and closed the criminal case on his death.
On March 21, 2011, a criminal case was opened against Second President of Ukraine (1994-2005) Leonid Kuchma. He was accused if abuse of office and power that resulted into the murder of journalist Gongadze (Part 3 of Article 166 of the Criminal Code of 1960).
On December 13, 2011, Kyiv's Pechersky District Court declared illegal the opening of the criminal case against Kuchma and cancelled the PGO's relevant instruction. The court refused to attach Melnychenko's recordings as evidence to the case.
Kyiv Court of Appeals and High Specialized Court on Civil and Criminal Cases upheld the decision to close the criminal case against Kuchma.
Kuchma categorically denied allegations of his involvement in the murder of the journalist.
On January 29, 2013, Kyiv's Pechersky District Court sentenced Pukach to life in prison for killing journalist Georgy Gongadze.