Ex-chief of the Main criminal search department at the Interior Ministry of Ukraine, lieutenant-general Oleksiy Pukach was found yesterday in the evening in Zhytomir Region, TV channel Inter reports. Pukach has been already arrested.

According to the press service of the Prosecutor General Office, the accused of organization of reporter Georgiy Gongadze murder Oleksiy Pukach was detained in one of the villages in Chudnov district, Zhytomir Region. The investigators of the Prosecutor General Office are interrogating the lieutenant general, UNIAN reports.

In autumn 2003 Oleksiy Pukach was detained on the suspicion of destruction of documents about shadowing for reporter Gongadze in May-July 2000. After in November 2003 Pukach had been released by the Appeal Court of Kyiv owing to the written undertaking not to leave the place, the officer disappeared. In early 2005 court brought a charge against the journalist’s murder.

According to the official information, Oleksiy Pukach was the main perpetrator of reporter Georgiy Gongadze’s murder. Accoridng to the investigation, he organized the shadowing for the reporter and was in charge of the group of officers (Valery Kostenko, Mykola Protasov and Oleksander Popovych) who kidnapped Gongadze on September 16 2000 and took him out of Kyiv to the field near the Sukholisy village, Bila Tserkva district, Kyiv Region.

According to the investigation, Oleksiy Pukach smothered reporter and made his culpable participants keeping silent about the crime that had been committed. Probably, he re-buried the body in the forestland situated in Tarashcha district, Kyiv Region.

Soon the records were made public that were allegedly done by ex-major of state security Mykola Melnychenko in the office of ex-President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma. There was a voice that resembled the Kuchma’s voice saying “to sort reporter out”. However, still ex-President is not a person involved into the case on murder.

In 2008 three former officials of the outdoor surveillance and criminal intelligence department at the Interior Ministry of Ukraine – colonels Valery Kostenko and Mykola Protasov, major Oleksander Popovych were adjudged guilty of reporter’s commission of murder and sentenced to 12 years (Kostenko and Popovych) and 13 years (Protasov) of deprivation of liberty.


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