Home Of Witness In Ukraine Journalist Murder Case Hit By Break-In

KIEV, Ukraine -- The home of a key witness in a high-profile Ukrainian journalist killing was broken into for unknown reasons, a lawyer involved in the case said on Monday.

Murdered Internet editor Georgy Gongadze

The Kiev apartment of Liudmila Frolova, a former co-worker of murdered Internet editor Georgy Gongadze, was ransacked in a possible robbery, said attorney Valentina Telichenko.

Gongadze's headless corpse was unearthed in a forest outside the Ukrainian capital in October 1999.

Frolova was a witness to death threats against Gongadze. According to some accounts the threats came from senior government officials.

The break-in according Telichenko was an attempt to destroy evidence of a government link to Gongadze's killers.

Gongadze before his death had been one of the few Ukrainian journalists to criticise the government of then-President Leonid Kuchma, who at the time controlled the country's media almost totally.

Frolova according to her account had in her possession phone records proving the threats against Gongadze had been made, and giving clues as to who had made them.

Scandal over the Kuchma government's lack of will to search for Gongadze's killers led to Ukraine's international isolation.

Ukraine's current President, reformer Viktor Yushchenko, has called bringing Gongadze's killers to justice "a matter of honor."

A criminal trial of two of three suspects in Gongadze's killing began in June. The missing suspect and alleged mastermind behind the murder, a former senior police officer, is thought to have fled the country.

Source: DPA German Press Agency


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