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Ukraine court convicts former police officers in journalist murder

[JURIST] Three former police officers have been convicted and sentenced to jail by a Ukrainian court for their roles in carrying out the murder of prominent Ukraine opposition journalist Heorhiy Gongadze [BBC report]. Mykola Protasov was sentenced Saturday to 13 years, while Valeriy Kostenko and Oleksandr Popovych each received a 12-year sentence. The trial of the former police officers began in 2006 [JURIST report], but those who ordered the murder have yet to be found, and authorities are still searching for former Interior Ministry surveillance chief Oleksiy Pukach who is wanted for his role in the murder.

Gongadze was an outspoken critic of former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma [BBC profile], who was later implicated in the murder [JURIST report] through secret recordings, but denies any involvement. AP has more. AFP has additional coverage.

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