The FBI has verified the authenticity of the tapes that link the Ukraine’s President Kuchma to the murder of journalist Georgy Gongadze, according to his former security officer.
Former presidential guard Mykola Melnychenko made the claim at a press conference in Brussels.
Melnychenko lives in exile in the US, where he has presented tapes that he says prove Kuchma was involved in Gongadze’s murder in 2000.
Melnychenko met with the European Commission in Brussels, and said that he was now more confident that an international commission for the investigation into the Gongadze murder will be created soon.
He also said that he would be willing to testify to help the investigation.
"We are pleased to have met with one of the key witnesses surrounding the gruesome murder of Gongadze," said Sarah de Jong, human rights officer of the International Federation of Journalists. "His willingness to openly confirm his co-operation will be of great help to the campaign to launch the independent international inquiry." Gongadze disappeared on 16 September 2000 and his decapitated body was found weeks later near Kiev.
His mother, Lessia, and widow, Miroslava, Reporters Sans Fronti?res and the IFJ have called for an independent commission to investigate his disappearance and murder.
By Jon Slattery