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Ukrainian Police Make Gongadze Killing Arrests

Heorhiy Gongadze in 2000 2 March 2005 -- Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko has said that police have arrested suspects in the 2000 killing of journalist Heorhiy Gongadze.

Yushchenko also accused Kuchma's government of not having the "political will" to solve the murder and protecting Gongadze's murderers.

Speaking yesterday at press conference in Kyiv, Yushchenko said Gongadze's murder has been solved.

He said Gongadze's killers are detained and currently giving evidence.

"We have reasons today to say that the murder of Giya [Heorhiy] Gongadze is solved. The murderers of Giya Gongadze have been detained. They are now giving their testimonies. Yesterday, when we were discussing how to conduct the operation I got to know some circumstances of the last moments of the life of Giya Gongadze," Yushchenko said. "It was a horrendous death, I must tell you. Today it is corroborated by the testimonies of the murderers. It was hard to believe that in this millennium there are people among civil servants who have such anger and such animal behaviour."

Yushchenko did not say how many people were arrested.

Gongadze was an Internet reporter who frequently criticized Kuchma's regime. He disappeared in September 2000. His headless body was found in a forest outside Kyiv two months later.

Gongadze's death caused a political scandal over allegations Kuchma ordered his death, which Kuchma denies.