Four years after the brutal assassination of the Ukrainian journalist, Georgy Gongadze, the IFJ says that the international campaign for justice in the case remains a top priority
“After 4 years of criminal incompetence on the part of the investigating authorities, we are still waiting for the killers of Gongadze to be brought to trial”, says Aidan White, General Secretary of the IFJ. “This case is not going to go away. We will continue to demand justice and a proper, independent and extensive enquiry to find the killers”.
The 4th anniversary of Gongadze’s death -- editor of the internet magazine Ukrainska Pravda who was murdered by unknown assailants and his headless body dumped in a wood near Kyiv-- comes as an international commission supported by the IFJ, the Institute of Mass Information, the National Union of Journalists of the UK and Ireland and the Gongadze Foundation, is carrying out an inquiry into how the authorities have dealt with the case.
The commission is planning to make a statement of its initial findings to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg next month. A few days ago, the commission wrote asking for the Ukrainian authorities to properly consider all evidence in the case.
Some evidence that has not been considered, says the IFJ, are tape recordings of conversations within the leadership of the Ukrainian government which implicate senior officials in the murder of Gongadze.
The IFJ, along with the NUJ, Article 19, IMI and Reporters Without Borders, heavily criticized the ‘secretive’ approach of the Ukrainian authorities, following a statement on 10 September by the Ukrainian Justice Ministry who claimed the recordings were “bogus”. The Prosecutor General, Vassiliev Gennady, had twice denied requests for civil society involvement to monitor the tests of this key evidence.
“Such crucial evidence must be reviewed under credible circumstances,” said White. “Gongadze’s challenging journalism was long regarded by the government of President Leonid Kuchma as provocative because it exposed state corruption, but as the case slowly unravels the plot of corruption thickens.”
For further information please contact Robert Shaw : +32 2 235 22 07
The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 100 countries.