Today: 19th anniversary of Georgy Gongadze’s murder
Today, September 16, is the day of remembrance of the Ukrainian journalist, founder and first editor-in-chief of "Ukrainska Pravda" Georgy Gongadze.
Georgy Gongadze was born in Georgia. In the fall of 1989, he moved to Lviv, became an active public figure and participant in the political life of the city, joined the ranks of the People's Movement of Ukraine and the Student Brotherhood.
On April 17, 2000, Gongadze founded “Ukrainska Pravda”. Among many others, they published articles about the president Leonid Kuchma and his entourage.
Georgy Gongadze went missing in Kyiv on September 16, 2000. In November of the same year, a headless body was discovered in the Tarashchansky forest in Kyiv region, which, according to experts, belonged to Gongadze. In February 2001, the Prosecutor General's Office acknowledged the death of the journalist and instituted the case under the intentional homicide, and in September 2002 admitted that the found body was Gongadze's.
The remains were stored in the Kiev morgue. He was buried only in March 2016.
The disappearance and murder of Georgy Gongadze has caused widespread public outcry in Ukraine and abroad. Protest actions took place in Ukraine, during which the president Leonid Kuchma was accused of masterminding his disappearance and peoples were demanding his resignation.
On March 15, 2008, the Court of Appeal of Kiev convicted three former employees of the Interior Ministry's external surveillance department, Valery Kostenko, Aleksander Popovich, and Mykola Protasov of Gongadze's murder, and sentenced them to 13 years' imprisonment.
On January 29, 2013, the Pechersk District Court of Kyiv sentenced the chief of the Interior Ministry Criminal Investigation Department, Oleksiy Pukach, to life imprisonment, finding him guilty of the murder of Georgy Gongadze. The Court of Appeal upheld the judgment.
However, the instigators of murder of the journalist still remain unknown.