Friday, October 30, 2020

Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko faces criminal allegations

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The Ukrainian Prosecutor-General’s Office has launched four additional criminal cases against former President Petro Poroshenko, his lawyer Ihor Holovan said on June 10.

According to Holovan, the probes were launched at the request of tycoon Ihor Kolomoyskiy, who accuses Poroshenko of interference with the activities of PrivatBank — once owned by Kolomoyskiy — revealing sensitive information regarding PrivatBank’s activities, abuse of office, and money laundering.

Holovan called all the accusations against Poroshenko “politically motivated.”

Kolomoyskiy, Poroshenko’s long-time foe, lost control over PrivatBank in 2016 when the central bank took it over after it failed stress tests and was deemed to be undercapitalized. Poroshenko was president at that time.

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Kolomoyskiy lived in self-imposed exile for nearly two years and returned after Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s election as president in April 2019.

Kolomoyskiy’s ties to Zelenskiy, who rose to fame as an actor on a TV channel owned by Kolomoisky, had raised concerns over the president’s independence from the oligarch.

On July 1, Poroshenko said that, in all, there are 24 probes launched against him, claiming that his successor “is behind all of them.”

Ukraine’s Prosecutor-General Iryna Venedyktova rejected Poroshenko’s claims, saying that the probes have nothing to do with politics.

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On July 8, Venedyktova withdrew its request to place Poroshenko under pretrial arrest in one of the cases against him. The case is related to his alleged illegal appointment of a deputy chief of the country’s foreign intelligence service. Venedyktova said that the investigations in that case had been completed.

A billionaire confectioner, Poroshenko currently serves as a member of parliament.

His party ran on a pro-European, anti-Russian ticket in July parliamentary elections, winning 25 seats.

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