diplomat protection, diplomatic security

Investigations intensify against Ukrainian presidential bodyguard accused of espionage

diplomat protection, diplomatic security

KIEV, January 9 – RAPSI, Alexander Savochenko. The  Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office has submitted materials in a  criminal case pending against the former bodyguard of ex-Ukrainian  President Leonid Kuchma for further investigation, Melnichenko’s  attorney Mykola Nedilko told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.

Melnichenko stands accused of disclosing state secrets.

“An investigator told me that the case has been submitted for further  investigation as it is thought that the pre-trial investigation was  incomplete. It was returned to the investigation stage as there were few  counts against Melnichenko in the case,” Nedilko said.

The Ukrainian authorities closed the investigation into the criminal  case against Melnichenko in late December and submitted the indictment  to the prosecutor general’s office for approval.

Melnichenko was detained at the Boryspil International Airport on  October 24 and taken into custody afterwards. He was charged with the  disclosure of state secrets, abuse of power, and falsification of  evidence.

The bodyguard became widely known after he recorded the voice of an  individual who sounded like Kuchma giving orders in the presidential  office to “settle affairs” with journalist Georgy Gongadze, whose  beheaded body was later found in the Kiev Region in autumn 2000.

As a result, Kuchma was accused of involvement in the murder. However,  the court ruled that the case against him did not hold, as the recording  had been made illegitimately.

While living in the US, Melnichenko claimed that he had audio recordings  that could prove former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s involvement  in the assassination of Ukrainian businessman and politician Yevheny  Shcherban at the Donetsk airport in 1996.

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