Thursday, 16 September 2010
Whistleblower: I Will Not Testify In Gongadze Case
KIEV, Ukraine -- The former major of the State Guard Department, Mykola Melnychenko, has said that he will not give evidence in court during the hearing of a criminal case against Oleksiy Pukach, the former head of the external surveillance department of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, who is accused of killing journalist Georgy Gongadze.
"No, I will not testify in court, because the court will not summon me as a witness to give evidence. Neither [second Ukrainian President Leonid] Kuchma nor [Parliament Speaker Volodymyr] Lytvyn will be brought to justice, because September 18 is a deadline, and charges cannot be brought against them," he said at a press conference in Kyiv on Wednesday.
"I have nothing to do with Pukach or external surveillance. I am related only to the documentation of Kuchma's and Lytvyn's crimes," Melnychenko said.
He said that there were no grounds to call him to the court as a witness, because these people had not been charged.
Melnychenko said that for Kuchma and Lytvyn to be prosecuted, indisputable evidence of their guilt was required, and added that apart from his tapes, there was no other evidence. The tapes themselves have not been recognized as 100% authentic, he said.
"Yes, Pukach gave evidence that clearly pointed to Kuchma and Lytvyn, but due to the fact that examinations conducted in Europe did not confirm the complete authenticity of the tapes, they cannot be prosecuted," he said.
Melnychenko noted that the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) could have confirmed the absolute authenticity of his tapes, however, the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine had not considered it necessary to turn the recordings over to the FBI for an authenticity check.