As the Ukrainian office of Deutsche Welle informed, the former major of the Ukrainian state security services, Nikolay Melnichenko, was as a witness in front of the grand jury of the court of San Francisco. Melnichenko answered questions pertaining to Ukraine President Leonid Kuchma’s connection with illegal sales of Ukrainian arms to Iraq.
“The grand jury basically concentrated on the subject of possible sales of Ukraine’s weapons to Iraq on the order from Leonid Kuchma,” - Nikolay Melnichenko said after the hearings were over. He said that the grand jury listened to pieces of audio tapes that had been recorded in Kuchma’s office. Those tapes contain a conversation of the Ukrainian president with the general director of the company Ukrspecexport, Valery Malev, who recently died in a car accident. In the conversation, Kuchma allegedly ordered Malev to sell three “Kolchuga” systems to Iraq for $100 million. Melnichenko clarified that the “Kolchuga” is a radar, with the help of which it is possible to detect and shoot down stealth technology planes.
Nikolay Melnichenko also said that a CIA spokesperson stated at the hearings that the Americans had recently found those radars in Iraq. This means that tough economic penalties could be used against Ukraine in the nearest future, since the UN Security Council prohibits sales of any weapons to Iraq.
The grand jury is to decide if laws were broken and if there is enough evidence to institute criminal proceedings. The decision of the jury is top secret, and it is not supposed to be exposed. This is why, even if the USA institutes criminal proceedings against Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, Ukraine will learn about it only after the US State Department or the Ministry for Justice prepare adequate statements.
Alxander Gorobets PRAVDA.Ru Kiev Ukraine
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov