Ukraine arrests former presidential bodyguard
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) – Ukraine’s security agency says it has arrested a former presidential bodyguard, who claims his boss plotted the murder of an investigative journalist over 10 years ago.
Mykola Melnychenko was arrested at Kiev’s Boryspil airport Wednesday on charges of divulging state secrets and abuse of office.
The charges stem from his recording and releasing of tapes years ago in which former President Leonid Kuchma is allegedly heard conspiring against investigative journalist Heorhiy Gongadze, who exposed high-level corruption. Melnychenko, who had fled Ukraine about a year ago, was returning to Ukraine from New York, the Ukrainian Security Service said. It was unclear why he decided to come back.
Gongadze’s beheaded body was found in a forest outside Kiev in November 2000. A Ukrainian court cleared Kuchma of involvement last year.