Mykola Melnichenko, a former security officer who claims to have secretly recorded conversations that implicate Ukrainian ex-president Leonid Kuchma in the murder of an opposition journalist, is currently in the United States, his lawyers said on Friday.

Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office earlier announced that it had put Melnychenko on the nation's wanted list, but does not have information that he has left the country.

“I am sure that Mykola [Melnichenko] will return to Ukraine, but only when all obstacles to his presence here are removed and when the threat to his life is removed,” lawyer Mykola Nedylko said. “I believe this threat will be removed soon.”

Another lawyer for Melnichenko, Pavel Sychov, said his client left Ukraine in early October.


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