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Former Ukrainian President Returns To Kyiv

Former President Kuchma (file photo) 5 March 2005 -- Former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma returned to Kyiv today, one day after the apparent suicide of his former interior minister.

Former Interior Minister Yuriy Kravchenko had been implicated in the killing in 2000 of journalist Heorhiy Gongadze, who wrote about alleged top-level corruption under Kuchma.

Kravchenko was found dead in his house on 4 March, hours before he was due for questioning about Gongadze's murder. Authorities said that according to the preliminary investigation, he committed suicide -- though he had two bullet wounds to his head.

Kuchma has acknowledged that he expects the General-Prosecutor's Office in Ukraine to summon him for questioning in the death of Gongadze.

The former president maintains his innocence and says he will cooperate. "Before God, before the people, before Gongadze, I'm clean."

Kuchma returned to Kyiv today from the Czech Republic, where he had been vacationing.