Zelenskiy’s office accuses Poroshenko of fleeing treason charges

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s workplace on Friday accused his predecessor, Petro Poroshenko, of working away from prison costs again residence, and of partaking in self-promotion dangerous to the nation simply because it faces the chance of a brand new navy assault by Russia.

The assertion, by Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser within the president’s workplace, was in response to an interview with POLITICO by which Poroshenko insisted that the costs of “high treason” towards him amounted to politically motivated prosecution — an act of revenge by Zelenskiy, the actor and comic who defeated Poroshenko in 2019, denying him a second five-year time period.

But at the same time as Zelenskiy’s workplace leveled its criticism, Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigation announced {that a} court docket in Kyiv had scheduled a listening to in Poroshenko’s case for Monday at 11 a.m.

Poroshenko, who’s one in all Ukraine’s richest residents, is now a member of parliament and chief of an opposition social gathering referred to as European Solidarity. He has been accused of “high treason” by serving to to arrange the sale of enormous quantities of coal from the war-torn jap Ukrainian area of Donbass in 2014 and 2015, which prosecutors say helped to finance Russian-backed separatists. In the interview, Poroshenko referred to as the costs “bullshit” and stated he would return to Ukraine on Monday as deliberate, regardless of the chance of arrest.

Some Western diplomats have expressed dismay that Poroshenko selected to return to Brussels this week and draw consideration to Ukraine’s bitter political in-fighting at simply the second that NATO allies have been confronting Russia over its enormous navy build-up alongside the Ukrainian border.

In the assertion, Podolyak stated Poroshenko was not above the legislation and urged that Ukrainian authorities would resist any exterior stress to drop the costs towards Poroshenko as a result of that may imply interfering with an unbiased investigation.

‘The present standing of the parliamentarian of Petro Poroshenko … doesn’t give the privilege to disregard the necessities of the legislation and court docket orders,” Podolyak stated. “Unfortunately, Petro Poroshenko does not say in an interview with foreign journalists that he fled from law enforcement agencies abroad for a month when he simply saw that the investigators had come to fulfill their duties and invite the ex-president to conduct legal proceedings.”

He added, “Unfortunately, Petro Poroshenko simply uses foreign journalists to create pretexts for personal PR in Ukraine and to show in his media that he supposedly has a ‘good press’ and ‘a lot of things to do’ in Europe. One of the basic principles of any democratic state is the equality of all citizens before the law and the courts. We would not want Europe to return to the times when the high political or economic status of a particular person, including the ex-president, puts him above the law and frees him from the need to comply with court orders.”

Podolyak accused Poroshenko of tarnishing Ukraine’s worldwide picture. “Finally, the worst thing is that the method of protection chosen by Petro Poroshenko looks like a deliberate and most unjustified discrediting of the reputation of his own country in foreign political markets,” he stated.

Poroshenko’s case has echoes of the jailing of Yulia Tymoshenko, a former Ukrainian prime minister, who was imprisoned throughout the time period of her political nemesis, former President Viktor Yanukovych. Many EU governments had lobbied strongly for her launch, however she was let out solely after Yanukovych fled Ukraine following the Maidan Revolution of 2013-2014. Other leaders of former Soviet international locations have additionally confronted arrest after leaving workplace, together with former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who’s now in jail.

In Ukraine, paperwork present that the nation’s normal prosecutor took depart on the day the costs towards Poroshenko have been registered final month, apparently to keep away from being accountable for the case. But critics of Poroshenko say that his companies profited handsomely all through his 5 years in workplace and that he ought to face a full investigation. In the coal gross sales, he’s accused of conspiring with Viktor Medvedchuk, one in all President Vladimir Putin’s closest pals in Ukraine.

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