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Three Police Go On Trial For Murder Of Ukrainian Journalist

Heorhiy Gongadze (file photo) (AFP) 19 December 2005 -- Preliminary court hearings got under way in Kyiv today in the case of three former police officers accused of killing journalist Heorhiy Gongadze.

Gongadze, who wrote about high-level corruption, was slain in 2000. The killing sparked demonstrations against President Leonid Kuchma's government at that time, after the release of recordings in which voices resembling those of Kuchma and his chief of staff are purportedly heard conspiring against Gongadze.

Kuchma has denied accusations of involvement.

When President Viktor Yushchenko took office in January, he promised to make solving Gongadze's slaying a priority.