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UKRAINIAN LAWMAKER REQUESTS PROTECTION FOR WITNESSES IN GONGADZE CASE. Hryhoriy Omelchenko, head of an ad hoc parliamentary commission to investigate the 2000 murder of journalist Hryhoriy Gongadze, has asked the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) to guarantee the safety of individuals who come forward with information about the case, Interfax reported, quoting the Ukrainian media watchdog Mass Information Institute (IMI). Omelchenko specifically asked that the SBU provide protection to SBU officers who reportedly helped former police officer Ihor Honcharov collect material on the Gongadze murder. Honcharov, who is regarded as a key suspect in the Gongadze case, died in police custody on 1 August (see "RFE/RL Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine Report," 12 August 2003). Honcharov reportedly managed to give the IMI a 17-page handwritten letter in which he claims to possess information about Gongadze's killers, including audio recordings and a confession that he said he wanted to reveal to investigators in the presence of independent witnesses. JM
POLAND TO TAKE OVER STABILIZATION SECTOR IN IRAQ IN SEPTEMBER. Polish Deputy Defense Minister Janusz Zemke told Polish Radio on 14 August that Warsaw will take over the responsibility for its stabilization sector in Iraq at the beginning of September. "It will be a solemn ceremony and we expect that, for example, not only Polish Defense Minister Jerzy Szmajdzinski and perhaps other Polish officials will participate in it, but also ministers from other states, those that decided to send the largest military contingents to join our division," Zemke said. General Andrzej Tyszkiewicz, commander of the Polish-led multinational division in the sector, said there are some 3,000 troops under Polish command in Iraq at the moment, including Poles, Ukrainians, Spaniards, Mongolians, Romanians, and Hungarians. A further 4,000 international troops currently deployed in Kuwait will later join the Polish-led force. JM
HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER CALLS DEMANDS FOR DUAL CITIZENSHIP 'CHILDISH.' Laszlo Kovacs told a Hungarian-language Transylvanian weekly that it is "childish" to believe that 1 million ethnic Hungarians abroad can become Hungarian citizens on the basis of a single decision, the MTI news agency reported on 13 August. In an interview with "Erdelyi Riport," Kovacs remarked that dual citizenship is "not an issue, as any ethnic Hungarian in Vojvodina or Romania can apply [individually] for Hungarian citizenship." He said collectively granting citizenship would create a "catastrophic situation," since the same health and social care available to residents of Hungary would have to be provided to another 3 million people. "In my opinion, such an irresponsible proposal only serves to stir up the political mood," Kovacs added. Ethnic Hungarian organization from Serbia, Ukraine, and Romania have recently proposed that Hungarians abroad be entitled to Hungarian passports (see also "RFE/RL Newsline," 11 August 2003). MSZ