Ukraine general arrested in decapitation case

Ukraine President Viktor Yushchenko has labeled Georhiy Gongadze's killing the country's most important case.
A Ukrainian general has been arrested in connection with the murder of a journalist nearly nine years ago, the country’s president said Wednesday.

Gen. Alexei Pukach was detained Tuesday in connection with the killing of Georhiy Gongadze, who was abducted in September 2000 and later found decapitated. The Gongadze killing is the country’s most important criminal case, President Viktor Yushchenko said in a statement on his Web site. Organizations ranging from the European Union to the Committee to Protect Journalists have demanded that Ukraine bring the journalist’s killers to justice. Pukach had been on the run for years before he was seized Tuesday in a joint operation by the Security Service and the prosecutor general’s office, Yushchenko said. He has already been interrogated once and is cooperating with the investigation, the president added. Three former police officers were convicted last year of killing Gongadze and given jail sentences of 12 to 13 years, the Committee to Protect Journalists said at the time.