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Former Ukranian Police Officers Stand Trial in Journalist's Death


Three former police officers are on trial in Ukraine on charges they were involved in the 2000 death of opposition journalist Georgy Gongadze.

The defendants, Valery Kostenko, Alexander Popovych and Mykola, appeared in a Kiev court Monday. Another former officer is also being sought in the case.

They have been charged with the murder of 31-year-old Gongadze, who was abducted in Kiev and decapitated.

Former presidential bodyguard Mykola Melnychenko has accused former Ukrainian President Lenoid Kuchma of ordering Gongadze's murder. He released what he claimed were secret recordings of Kuchma. In one of the them, a voice that sounds like Kuchma is heard conspiring with other senior government officials to get rid of Gongadze.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.