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Ukraine Jails Ex-Official for Journalist Death

Olexiy Pukach, left, in a defendant's cage on the final day of his trial in Kiev, Ukraine, Jan. 29, 2013.
A Ukrainian court has sentenced a former interior ministry official to life in prison for the 2000 murder of an investigative journalist.

Olexiy Pukach, a former top surveillance official, was convicted Tuesday of the strangling death of Georgiy Gongadze.

Gongadze was the founder of the Ukrainska Pravda news site, and had been investigating alleged corruption in the government of then-president Leonid Kuchma. His headless body was found in a forest outside the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.

A lawyer for Gongadze's widow has said that during Pukach's closed-door trial he testified that Kuchma and other officials ordered the journalist's murder.

Kuchma was investigated for the killing but charges against him were dropped. The former president has denied any involvement in the crime.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.