UKRAINIAN ANTI-CORRUPTION FIGHTER ACCUSES PRESIDENT OF ASSASSINATION PLAN. Hryhoriy Omelchenko, head of the parliamentary anti-corruption investigation commission, told journalists on 27 July that President Leonid Kuchma ordered him killed, AP reported. "The [assassination] order was made personally by the president or with his tacit agreement," Omelchenko said, adding that two groups of killers were organized in Russia and received a contract worth $500,000 to dispose of him. According to Omelchenko, the assassination plan was linked to his investigation into foreign bank accounts held by Ukrainian high-ranking officials. Omelchenko was involved in the investigation into alleged money laundering by former Premier Pavlo Lazarenko and Oleksandr Volkov, the head of Kuchma's election team. JM

SLOVAK PRIVATIZATION HEAD SAYS UKRAINIAN MAFIA THREATENS HIM. Ludovit Kanik, head of the National Property Fund, on 26 July told Radio Twist that the "Ukrainian Mafia" operating in Slovakia has started threatening him in connection with "the uncompromising stand I took in the Nafta Gbely sale case." Kanik said he has written to the Interior Ministry asking for protection for himself and his family. Mikulas Dzurinda's government has asked the parliament to dismiss Kanik and his deputy for failing to prevent businessman Vladimir Poor from selling Nafta Gbely's subsidiary, Nafta Trade, to the U.S. Cinergy Company. Nafta Gbely was privatized under Vladimir Meciar's government and bought by Poor, who is close to Meciar. During the election campaign, Dzurinda promised to return the company to state ownership. MS