IFJ Calls for Change of Investigators in Unsolved Ukraine Murder Case

 
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and

its regional organisation, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), have

today called for the investigation into the disappearance and probable murder

of Ukraine investigative Journalist, Vasyl Klymentyev, to be removed from the

hands of the local police force.  

Six months after Klymentyev's disappearance, the

official investigation into ‘premeditated murder' has failed to make any

progress. Meanwhile serious concerns have arisen about police conduct including

harassment of Klymentyev's partner, Valentina Udovenko, and illegal searches

and seizures of documents on the premises of Klymentyev and his lawyer.

"Our research has shown time and again that murder

investigations led by local police forces are often compromised when the victim

is an investigative journalist reporting on corruption by powerful political

figures," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "It is time this

investigation was handed over to an external team free to act and investigate

without fear of reprisal."

Klymentyev, correspondent with Novyy Styl newspaper, was last seen on the 11th August

2010 as he set off to visit properties owned by Stanisalv Denysysuk, regional

tax director, and three other officials, to investigate corruption allegations

into their ownership and management. A few days after his disappearance his

mobile phone and keys were found on a boat in the nearby reservoir. The leading

witness was a police officer who accompanied Klymentyev to the Kharkiv

properties who himself disappeared in September.

In their letter sent today the IFJ/EFJ have called on

President Yanukovych to transfer the investigation to the Attorney General's

office. The letter further urged the President to take the necessary measures

to ensure that those responsible for Klymentyev's disappearance are brought to

justice.

"We will not be satisfied until both the murderers and

those who ordered his murder are behind bars," warned Arne König, EFJ

President. "Ukraine must at all costs avoid the errors and failings of the Georgy

Gongadze investigation."

For more

information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 07

The

IFJ represents more than 600.000 members in 125 countries