Category Archives: Diplomatic Protection

Investigations intensify against Ukrainian presidential bodyguard accused of espionage

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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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Al-Qaeda offers $160K bounty for assassination of US Ambassador to Yemen and $23K for killing American soldiers


Al-Qaeda has placed a $160,000 bounty on the  head of the U.S. Ambassador to Yemen and $23,000 for the assassination of any  American soldiers in the country.

An audio produced by the group’s media arm,  the al-Malahem Foundation,  and posted on militant websites Saturday said it  offered three kilograms of gold for the killing of Ambassador Gerald M.  Feierstein.

The bounties were set to ‘inspire and  encourage our Muslim nation for jihad,’ the statement said.

Focus on the safety of American diplomats  abroad has intensified since Libya Ambassador Chris Stevens died in a terrorist  attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.

He was the first U.S. Ambassador assassinated  in the line of duty since 1979. His death, and the security at the consulate  compound, have been the focus of intense scrutiny by Congress – especially  Republicans who have criticized the White Housing handling of the  attack.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as the  group is called, is considered Al-Qaeda’s most dangerous branch.

The terrorist cell, thought to have up to 600  members, overran entire towns and villages last year by taking  advantage of a  security lapse during nationwide protests that eventually ousted the country’s  longtime ruler.

It has been responsible for numerous  assassinations in the capital Sanaa, including the shooting of a Yemeni security  guard outside the U.S. Embassy in October.

In late November, the Yemeni government  blamed a drive-by shooting that killed a Saudi diplomat and his bodyguard on the  local al-Qaeda branch.

The U.S. military and CIA have been waging a  covert war against the terrorist cell for years.

In September 2011, an American drone strike  killed Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born terrorist leader believed to be behind  an attempted bomb attack on a Christmas Day flight to Detroit.

Yemen’s army was able to regain control of  several al-Qaeda towns the southern region with the support of U.S. military  experts.

However, militants continue to launch deadly  attacks on security forces  that have killed hundreds.

In the capital, Sanaa, security officials  said two gunmen on a  motorbike shot and killed two intelligence officers early  Sunday as they were leaving a downtown security facility.

The officials, who spoke on condition of  anonymity according to  regulations, said all intelligence and security officers  have been  instructed to take precautionary measures outside working  hours.

The government blames al-Qaeda for the  killing of several senior  military and intelligence officials this year mainly  by gunmen on  motorbikes.

The officials said security authorities in  Sanaa have launched a  campaign against motorcyclists suspected of involvement  in these attacks or other crimes, arresting about 200 for questioning for  violations,  including driving motorcycles without license plates.

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