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Ukrainian Prosecutors: No Evidence Linking Lawmaker to Journalist's Death


Ukrainian prosecutors say they have received no evidence directly linking the country's parliament speaker to the high-profile murder of a journalist in 2000.

The prosecutors issued a statement downplaying reports by a foundation run by exiled Russian businessman Boris Berezovsky implicating Parliament Speaker Oleksandr Moroz in the murder of Internet journalist Georgy Gongadze.

A representative, Alexander Goldfrab, of the Civil Liberties Foundation told reporters in Kiev Tuesday he had presented the prosecutors with testimony by a witness in the United States linking the lawmaker to the murder. He said the witness would go to Ukraine if his security is guaranteed.

Three former police officers are on trial for the murder and decapitation of Gongadze, a sharp critic of the government of Ukraine's former president, Leonid Kuchma. One of Mr. Kuchma's former bodyguards has accused him of ordering the murder, charges the former president has denied.

Russian authorities have accused former media mogul Berezovsky of plotting to overthrow the country' s government. Berezovsky is a former ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin but has turned harshly critical of the president. He fled to Britain in 2000 after Mr. Putin rose to power, calling the charges against him politically motivated.

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