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Ukrainian Agency Analyzing Gongadze Tapes

Former President Kuchma has been under increased scrutiny over the Gongadze killing since he left office early this year 20 July 2005 -- Ukraine's security agency has begun analyzing secret tape recordings that some believe could implicate former President Leonid Kuchma in the murder five years ago of an investigative journalist.

Security service chief Oleksandr Turchynov said today that the analysis could be complete within a month.

"At our request, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation will conduct a parallel examination [of former Kuchma bodyguard Mykola] Melnychenko's tapes]," Turchynov said. "FBI Director Mr. Robert Mueller and I agreed on such an examination during my visit to the United States. I don't think our two examinations will interfere with each other."

The recordings contain a voice that is purportedly Kuchma's ordering aides to deal with Internet journalist Heorhiy Gongadze, who was investigating high-level corruption.

Gongadze was kidnapped in September 2000 and his headless body was found a month later.

Kuchma has denied any involvement in Gongadze's death, which sparked mass protests.