Three jailed for Ukrainian journalist Gongadze's murder
( AFP ) - A court in Kiev jailed three former police officers for between 12 and 13 years Saturday, for the 2000 murder of Ukrainian journalist Georgy Gongadze, whose killing sparked widespread protests.
Valeri Kostenko and Olexander Popovich both received 12-year sentences, while Mykola Protasov was jailed for 13 years at the end of a trial that has been running since January 2006, mainly behind closed doors.
Gongadze, who had been frequently critical of former president Leonid Kuchma in articles in his Internet newspaper, Ukrainska Pravda, disappeared in September 2000 and his headless body was found in woods outside Kiev two months later.
The head was never recovered, and those behind the killing have never been identified. But the murder contributed to the popular uprising known as the Orange Revolution that brought current President Viktor Yushchenko to power.
Yushchenko has charged that the former regime had shown no desire to solve the murder and "protected the killer."