Ukraine IDs Slain Reporter Suspects

KIEV, Ukraine -- Prosecutors have identified all the suspects in the 2000 killing of a crusading journalist who wrote about high-level corruption, a news agency reported Monday.

Authorities have completed the first stage of investigation into Heorhiy Gongadze's killing, the Prosecutor General's office said in a statement quoted by Interfax.

Prosecutors could not be reached for comment immediately.

The killing of the Internet reporter haunted the last years of decade-long tenure of former President Leonid Kuchma.

Ukrainian opposition parties have accused Kuchma of ordering his death, charges Kuchma denies. Earlier this year, the ex-president was questioned in connection with the investigation. He has said that he has nothing to hide.

Two former police officials were detained in March and charged with murder in connection with Gongadze's death. Another former police official suspected of involvement remains under orders not to leave Kiev, and a fourth is being sought on an international warrant.

Earlier this year, former Interior Minister Yuriy Kravchenko, who was considered a key witness by prosecutors, committed suicide, just hours before he was to be questioned about Gongadze's slaying.

Also, Ukraine's security agency announced earlier this month that it had begun analyzing secret recordings that reportedly link Kuchma with Gongadze's death. The recordings, made by a former Kuchma bodyguard, contain a voice that sounds like Kuchma's ordering aides to deal with Gongadze.

President Viktor Yushchenko has pledged and bring to justice not only Gongadze's killers, but also those who masterminded the reporter's death.

Source: Associated Press

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