Ukraine Prosecutor Trip to US Could Shed Light on Scandal

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukrainian Prosecutor General Svyatoslav Piskun flies to the US on Tuesday. The office’s press service told Itar-Tass that Piskun was to meet officials of the US Department of Justice. However, the press service did not specify the programme of the visit. “These are working moments, and the prosecutor is a protected person”, it said.

Piskun earlier said that he would visit the US on July 5-15 for signing a bilateral accord on legal assistance.

According to unofficial information, Piskun’s trip to the US is related to the case of wiretapping of ex-president Leonid Kuchma’s office by Major Nikolai Melnichenko, an officer of his security guard, who has asylum in the US at present.

Piskun had said openly that he hoped that, having been debriefed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Melnichenko would give him the recordings of tapped conversations of Kuchma in which he allegedly ordered to ex-interior minister Yuri Kravchenko to “sort things out” with journalist Georgy Gongadze.

The beheaded body of Gongadze was found in the woodland near Kiev in the autumn of 2004.

Kravchenko was found killed in his countryside house in March of this year.

The publication of Melnichenko’s recordings sparked a scandal with demands of Kuchma’s resignation.

Kuchma bluntly denied his involvement in the death of Gongadze.

Source: Itar Tass