The State Investigation Bureau has charged former President Petro Poroshenko with high treason on Dec. 20.
The detectives suspect Poroshenko of involvement in the organization of coal supplies to Ukraine’s state-owned enterprises from Russian-occupied areas in the Donbas in 2014-2015.
Poroshenko has earlier denied wrongdoing.
On Dec. 17, the State Investigation Bureau detectives had attempted to give Poroshenko a summons outside of the Verkhovna Rada but he fled.
Poroshenko’s European Solidarity party said he had left Ukraine for an official visit to Turkey.
On Dec. 20, former acting President and Poroshenko's ally Oleksandr Turchynov told state TV channel Dom that "after holding scheduled international meetings and a short vacation, Poroshenko will return to Ukraine.” He accused President Volodymyr Zelensky of politically motivated prosecutions.
Besides Poroshenko, the coal supplies case investigates Viktor Medvedchuk, co-leader of the pro-Kremlin Opposition Platform – For Life party and Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s right-hand man in Ukraine.
In September-November, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and the State Investigation Bureau charged businessman Serhiy Kuzyara, Medvedchuk and Volodymyr Demchyshyn, who was energy minister in 2014-2016 under Poroshenko, in the case.
Medvedchuk allegedly negotiated with Russia and its proxies, as well as with the Poroshenko administration on the coal supplies, according to the investigators.
According to the investigation, the organizers made Hr 1.5 billion on coal shipments from Russian-occupied territories by way of negotiations with the enemy.
Medvedchuk and Poroshenko previously denied wrongdoing.
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. Earlier, Kononenko did not respond to requests for comment.
This is the second time Poroshenko is charged.
In June 2020, Poroshenko was charged with abuse of office by appointing Serhiy Semochko as deputy head of the Foreign Intelligence Service in violation of procedure. Since then, the case has seen no progress.