After numerous conflicts between the opposition and Ukrainian authorities, and after inquiries of international organizations, in particular, of the Council of Europe, of the organization “Reporters without Limits," the Ukrainian Public Prosecutor General’s Office admitted that the remains found in Taraschi forest belong to ex-editor of web-edition “Ukrainskaya Pravda.”
However, Georgi Gongadze’s mother, Lesya Gongadze, has started to doubt. The following circumstance seems to have influenced her position: in Vienna, at the international center of the press, where one more pathologoanatomic investigation was carried out by the opposition’s representatives, it was unambiguously said that the remains’ elements belonged to a person who could not be Lesya Gongadze’s son. Later, relatives of the missing journalist refused to take away the remains from the Kiev morgue. They demanded to carry out one more independent examination with the participation of European specialists. This initiative was supported by the monitoring committee of Council of Europe. First of all, Denmark’s representative, Hana Severinson, insists on it; she is, at the same time, the leader of the group studying Ukraine’s problems in EU. Though, the case did not move, while in Ukraine, some events took place directly connected with Gongadze case, first of all, at the parliamentary level.
Most of the parliamentarians hold the view that the special investigation commission did not work satisfactorily. Some of its members and, first of all, Deputy Alexandr Lavrinovich, representative of Rukh national-patriotic movement, have practically got out of the commission’s work. He did not summon any sitting. And as the parliament demanded a report from him, he reported for two minutes. Everything he reported was connected with technical aspects of the case. Some materials are said to have been received or sent for, and some people were invited for an interrogation; some people came and some didn't. That was all. Nothing to the point. The opposition said Lavrinovich helped to foul the trial.
This summer, the Ukrainian president created a new power institution in Ukraine: he introduced state secretaries in the ministries with the whole apparatus of functionaries. So, at the beginning of this autumn, Lavrinovich occupied the post of the state secretary of Justice Ministry. According to Ukrainian legislation, a parliamentary who takes a state post must give up its cogniznace in the representing body, and Mr Lavrinovich did. Therefore, the post of the temporary investigation commission’s secretary is vacant.
At the end of October, deputies carried out a sitting and chose Alexandr Zhir as the new chairman. He is a lawyer and ex-colonel of Ukrainian Security Service and one of the people who last December visited Leonid Kuchma’s former security guard Nikolai Melnichenko. Moreover, before his election, he has been to the US and personally talked to the rebellious major.
So, today, the parliament investigations commission carried out its sitting under the chairmanship of Zhir. It heard evidence of forensic medical expert from the town Taraschi of Kiev region, Igor Vorotyntsev.
The commission wanted to know first-hand how the story with the body found in the forest had started. Earlier, Vorotyntsev did not come to the sitting. He was forbidden by his boss to go to the Supreme Rada. As he declared he would meet anyway with the parliament commission, he was transported to psychiatry section of hospital by force. Therefore, for the first time, the pathologoanatom could not meet with the deputies. However, this time, the parliamentarians were more skillful. They transported Vorotyntsev to the sitting without informing anyone. This signifies that the deputies decided to start the investigation of the case once more. In particular, this is confirmed by the fact that the commission intends personally meet with Leonid Kuchma, because it has many complicated questions to him. The deputies approved a text of the letter addressed to the president.
In particular, the letter insists on the meeting to be carried out in the nearest future and in presence of journalists. Elected representatives of the people demand the conversation could be recorded. Most of observers suppose that this is not possible, because Kuchma will not agree to a public interrogation, which is practically offered. He prefers not to discus this subject, explaining he has nothing to do with the Gongadze case.
The forensic medical expert Igor Vorotyntsev said the body found in the forest belonged to Gorgi Gongadze. As a group of Kiev journalists led by Alyona Pritula, Georgi Gongadze’s friend, visited him, the pathologoanatom carried out X-ray photography of the found body’s arm and forearm. There, metal pieces were found, one of which was extracted. Without any doubt, that were fragments of the blown up grenade that wounded the journalist. The doctor also announced that he identified the body thanks to bracelet, finger ring, and pendant that he personally took off from the body and that belonged to the journalist, as well as contents of the stomach.
According to the doctor, in Vienna, he examined the elements of tissue that are unfit for examination. These were the elements of the body found in Taraschi forest.
It could be assumed the Gongadze’s case will soon become more pointed. Today or tomorrow, in the press, the parliament commission’s letter addressed to Leonid Kuchma appears proposing to meet with parliamentarians in presence of journalists. There is one more reason why the the coming election remains exciting. Many of today’s elected representatives of the people need the fame of fighters for people’s affair. They will again go to the barricades.
Alexandr Gorobets PRAVDA.Ru Kiev Ukraine
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2001/11/19/33973.html