KIEV, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Ukraine had opened a criminal case against former president Leonid Kuchma over the killing of journalist Georgy Gongadze, local media reported Tuesday.
Ukraine state prosecutor Renat Kuzmin told a news conference Kuchma was being investigated over Gongadze's murder in September 2000.
"Kuchma is suspected of giving illegal orders to Interior Ministry employees that led to the death of the journalist," Kuzmin told journalists.
He said the former president was banned from leaving Ukraine during the investigation.
Gongadze was an opposition journalist who criticized Kuchma's politics. His murder was the most famous crime in post-Soviet Ukrainian history.
Kuchma's political opponents have been trying to prove Kuchma was responsible for the murder for 10 years. They have provided tapes allegedly recording Kuchma talking to former interior minister Yury Kravchenko about possibly killing Gongadze.
Kuzmin said the tapes were suitable evidence in the murder case.
Kuchma was the second post-independence Ukrainian president from 1994 to 2005.