Arrest warrant issued for ex-Ukrainian president – media
Prosecutors in Ukraine have asked a local court to arrest former president Petro Poroshenko, who is suspected of high treason, media in Kiev reports.
The head of the country's most popular opposition party, according to polls, claims the case against him is a sham. Earlier this year, another opposition leader, Viktor Medvedchuk, was placed under house arrest on similar charges.
The former president’s arrest was allowed with the possibility of bail set at 1 billion hryvnias ($36.7 million), Ukrinform news agency reported on Friday, citing the Prosecutor General’s office of Ukraine. It quoted a Kiev court as saying that Poroshenko could be detained and brought before a judge, who will decide whether to keep him in pre-trial detention.
Ukrinform later quoted a court spokesperson, who declined to confirm whether a judge has received a request to authorize the arrest.
Poroshenko, who served as president between 2014 and 2019, is suspected of committing high treason by arranging illegal shipments of coal from the breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine, whose governments were designated as terrorist groups by Kiev.
Poroshenko is currently traveling abroad, but has indicated that he plans to return to Ukraine. He has dismissed the allegations against him as “insanity.”
“I’m the fifth president of the country, and you must present convincing evidence to society and our foreign partners before announcing anything,” Poroshenko told Ukrainian media.
Poroshenko’s political party, European Solidarity, released a statement in October, saying the prosecution is politically motivated and fabricated under the orders of President Volodymyr Zelensky, who defeated Poroshenko in the 2019 presidential election by a landslide.