Naples court releases former Ukrainian presidential bodyguard
KIEV, August 14 - RAPSI. The Naples Court of Appeals has released Mykola Melnychenko, the one-time bodyguard of former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, his attorney Mykola Nedilko told RIA Novosti on Tuesday. Melnychenko was detained in Italy on August 3 on an Interpol warrant.
Melnychenko recorded a voice similar to Kuchma's in the presidential office giving orders to "settle affairs" with journalist Georgy Gongadze, whose beheaded body was later found in the Kiev Region in autumn 2000.
The Prosecutor General's Office used the tapes as the basis for filing charges against the former president in 2011 for his involvement in the journalist's death. Eventually, the court found the case to be illegal, as the tapes had been recorded in his office without due authorization.
Cases on the disclosure of state secrets, the abuse of power and the creation of artificial evidence have been initiated against Melnichenko in Ukraine.
Since Melnichenko avoided contact with the investigation, the Ukrainian Security Service placed him on the international wanted list in autumn 2011.