This article’s title words were the slogan of the murdered journalists’ memorial event held in Kyiv this year, on September 16, the day of Heorhii Gongadze’s disappearance, and attended by the media industry representatives as well as human rights and civic activists. We heard the totally right words about “impunity” said there, but...
The 13th anniversary of Gongadze’s disappearance and murder has once again demonstrated the ambiguity surrounding the public perception of this tragedy. It manifests itself in attitude to the Gongadze case itself and all its derivatives and influences as well as processes within the media community.
“The Gongadze case has been solved long ago,” The Day’s editor-in-chief Larysa Ivshyna posted on Facebook. “But the government has no desire to have a closure, while the society has no moral strength to accept the bitter truth, including the truth about itself... Read Pukach’s sentence. Is it not enough?”
It turns out that it is not for many politicians, public figures, and journalists... especially when financial incentives come into play. When a criminal proceeding was instituted against ex-president Leonid Kuchma in 2011 as part of the investigation aiming to establish who ordered the murder, many people listed numerous reasons for the proceeding to become possible, but hardly anyone talked about its essence.
Thus, the First Deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine Renat Kuzmin, like him or not, was right when he accused the press of complicity in creating grounds for the court to overturn the decision to institute criminal proceedings against Kuchma. Kuzmin has already stated, however, that with the entry into force of the new Criminal Procedure Code, the proceeding has been automatically reinstituted.
Very recently, the First Deputy Prosecutor General told the news24.ua web portal that “sufficient evidence has been obtained to serve the notice of suspicion on the person who ordered the crime [murder of Gongadze. – Author]. We are still working to expose the instigator and other accomplices. The investigation involves measures necessary to advance criminal proceedings regarding assaults on journalist Oleksii Podolsky and former MP Oleksandr Yeliashkevych.”
Strangely, the journalist widow’s attorney Valentyna Telychenko called Kuzmin’s statement “an example of political speculation” in her comments.
By the way, new versions of the reasons for instituting proceedings against Kuchma still appear. One of the most common ones maintains that the current Viktor Yanukovych-led government is trying to keep on the hook Kuchma’s family, especially his son-in-law Viktor Pinchuk who owns a substantial fortune, including media resources. This, incidentally, was Telychenko’s take on things. It may be the correct version, but does that matter? Is not the institution of proceedings against the persons who ordered the crime the most important part of the story, and must not the journalists, more than anyone else, put the pressure on the government helping it to master enough courage to punish these persons, rather than engage in empty talk or keep silent?