A correspondent for Censor.NET reports from the courtroom.
Presiding Judge Natalia Marchuk said this was a temporary absence and, therefore, there was no need to change the panel composition. However, this fact proved to be sufficient for the hearing to be adjourned. The next session of the court is scheduled for April 19, 2017.
Judge Marchuk also said that the volume of the case that had previously been missing was found. According to the judge, it was studied by the Prosecutor General's Office.
"It may be assumed that this volume has been taken under investigation of the case of Kravchenko (Ukraine's former Interior Minister - Ed.)," the judge said.
She also asked the representatives of the aggrieved party to decide by the next hearing whether to supplement the record with it or not.
As reported, founder of Ukrainska Pravda news website, journalist Heorhii Gongadze disappeared Sept. 16, 2000. His decapitated corpse was later found in the forest in Kyiv's vicinity. Ex-Chief of Interior Ministry's Directed Surveillance Department Oleksii Pukach was arrested on charges of commission of this crime in a village in the Zhytomyr region July 21, 2009.
The investigation found that Pukach received a verbal order to eliminate Heorhii Gongadze from then-Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Yurii Kravchenko. The criminal ring led by Pukach consisting of members of the Main Directorate of the Interior Ministry Valerii Kostenko, Oleksandr Popovych (both sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2008), and Mykola Protasov (got 13 years in prison in 2008) committed the murder Sept. 17, 2000.
The court found Pukach guilty and sentenced him to life imprisonment Jan. 23, 2013. Asked by the judge whether he agreed with the verdict, Pukach said: "I will agree with it when I will be sharing this cage with Kuchma and Lytvyn." The Kyiv Court of Appeal upheld the verdict Jan. 6, 2016.