Prosecutors are seeking to arrest ex-President Petro Poroshenko who's been charged with high treason. They've asked for a bail of Hr 1 billion ($37 million), according to several media reports published on Dec. 24, citing the Prosecutor General’s Office.
Ukrinform, Ukrainska Pravda and other Ukrainian media also reported, citing anonymous sources, that Kyiv’s Pechersk District Court had approved prosecutors’ motion to detain Poroshenko and bring him to a court for an arrest hearing.
Poroshenko is currently abroad but has announced plans to return to Ukraine in the first half of January.
He was charged with treason on Dec. 20, accused of being involved in supplying coal to Ukraine’s state-owned enterprises from Russian-occupied areas in the coal-rich Donbas in 2014-2015.
Poroshenko has denied wrongdoing and called his prosecution politically motivated.
From September through November, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and the State Investigation Bureau leveled charges of treason and aiding terrorists against businessman Serhiy Kuzyara, pro-Kremlin lawmaker Viktor Medvedchuk and Volodymyr Demchyshyn, who was energy minister in 2014-2016 under Poroshenko, as part of the same coal supply case.
Medvedchuk allegedly negotiated the coal supplies with Russia and its proxies, as well as with Poroshenko's administration, according to the investigators.
Ex-lawmaker Oleksandr Onyshchenko, a former ally of Poroshenko, claimed in 2016 that the former president’s top associate and lawmaker Ihor Kononenko had been getting $20 per ton from coal supplies coming from the Russian-occupied Donbas. Kononenko denied the accusations.
Dozens of investigations have been opened against Poroshenko since his successor, President Volodymyr Zelensky came to power in 2019.
However, he has so far been charged in only two of them.
Apart from the treason case, Poroshenko was charged in June 2020 with abusing his power by appointing Serhiy Semochko as a deputy head of the Foreign Intelligence Service in violation of procedure. Since then, the case has seen no progress. Poroshenko denied the allegations.
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