Ukraine ex-president's guard released on bail
KIEV - Agence France-Presse
Melnychenko, former bodyguard of Ukraine's ex-President Leonid Kuchma, gestures during a news conference in Kiev, in this December 5, 2005 file photo. REUTERS photoA Ukrainian court on Friday released on bail a bodyguard of former President Leonid Kuchma who had accused his boss of ordering the 2000 abduction and execution of a top opposition reporter.
The Kiev district court ruled that Mykola Melnychenko did not pose a significant danger after being charged with disclosing state secrets and other crimes over his release of a secret audio tape allegedly related to the murder.
The hidden microphone recording featured a voice similar to that of Kuchma discussing the removal of critical reporter Georgy Gongadze weeks before his beheaded body was discovered in the woods near Kiev.
The former president of Ukraine denies all charges and a Ukrainian court in December last year dropped a criminal case that has been brought against him following years of pressure from Gongadze's supporters.
Melnychenko was detained at Kiev's international airport on Wednesday on his return from hiding in the United States. The court set his bond at 76,500 hryvnia ($9,360).