By Tom Warner in Kiev,
Financial Times, London, UK,
Tue, Dec 20 2005

KIEV – A court in Kiev decided yesterday to go ahead with the trial of three
Ukrainian Interior Ministry officers accused of taking part in the murder of
internet journalist Georgy Gongadze, rejecting complaints from his mother,
who argued that prosecutors should determine first who ordered the killing.

The case is being closely watched because of the role Mr Gongadze’s death
played in galvanising opposition to Leonid Kuchma, the former president
whose rule ended with last year’s Orange revolution.

Lesya Gongadze, wants prosecutors to determine whether Mr Kuchma was
behind the killing, as a parliamentary inquiry concluded in 2002.

Kiev’s appellate court set a January 9 trial date. The officers are accused
of playing different roles in an operation in September 2000 in which Mr
Gongadze was allegedly killed and buried in a forest outside Kiev.

Ukraine has issued an international arrest warrant for the officers’ former
chief. -30-

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