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Ukraine: Press Group Calls For Probe Into Death Of Reporter

Vienna, November 27, 2002 (RFE/RL) -- The International Press Institute (IPI) has called on Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma to launch a probe into the death of journalist Mykhaylo Kolomiyets. Kolomiyets' body was found nearly two weeks ago in a wooded area near the Belarusian town of Maladzechna. Ukrainian police and Belarus authorities said Kolomiyets -- the director of Ukrayinski Novyny news agency -- committed suicide. In a letter addressed to Kuchma, the Vienna-based IPI said neither his colleagues nor his mother believed Kolomiyets committed suicide.

The press monitoring group said the circumstances surrounding Kolomiyets' death must be cleared up in a "transparent and public manner."

Colleagues say Kolomiyets death may have been linked to the critical reporting of the Ukrainian government done by his news agency.