Poroshenko’s firms under scrutiny

According to the Ukrainian News webpage, former president Petro Poroshenko has been summoned for questioning at the Office of the Prosecutor General on August 12, 2019.

On July 25 Poroshenko was interrogated by the State Bureau of Investigation in regard to a criminal case involving money laundering and shares legalized through offshore trading. This involves the sale of the Kuznya na Rybalskomu plant. The plant was formerly owned by Poroshenko and Ihor Kononenko (his long-term business partner) but was sold to Sergey Tyhipko for 300 million US dollars. The deal is thought to have been carried out through offshore companies.

According to Roman Truba, head of the State Bureau of Investigation, thus far there have been 11 criminal cases launched into the activities of the former Ukraine president. He stated this in his Telegram channel on July 30. On August 5 it was announced that a new criminal case has been brought against Poroshenko. According to TSN.Ua, the case concerns the trip made by his family to the Maldives in 2018 using false documents. This makes a total of at least 12 criminal cases into Poroshenko’s activities. The SBI has also initiated a case into unlawful actions by the border guards who permitted Poroshenko and his family to leave Ukraine under the falsified documents. Poroshenko denies going through checkpoints using a fake identity.

Five of the cases, including one in Panama, have been initiated by Andrey Portnov, former head of administration for President Yanukovich. According to Russia’s Nezavisimaya Gazeta, the Ukrainian SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) is threatening Portnov with criminal charges if they find evidence of his alleged involvement in developing documents which facilitated the calling of the Crimea referendum in 2014.

The State Bureau of Investigation is carrying on inquiries of the former President’s role in such cases as the Kerch Strait incident, in which 24 Ukrainian sailors and SBU personnel were captured by Russia. Poroshenko has been accused of staging the provocation in order to seize power. He is also accused of exceeding his power and authority while making appointments at “Centrenergo”, a major company producing electrical and thermal energy in central and eastern Ukraine. The charges also include illegal appropriation of the “Pryamoy” TV channel, falsifying documents while establishing the coalition of parliamentary factions in 2016, unlawful formation of the government, and impeding the work of judges.

According to the newspaper Kommersant, the case against Poroshenko and the pressure he exerted on judges was initiated by a group of judges of the Kiev Region Administrative Court who were involved in quashing the decision to nationalize the PrivatBank. In addition to Poroshenko, charges are being lodged against the head of the National Bank and the Justice Minister.

Ukrainian News Agency reports of the Kiev court ruling ordering the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) to open criminal proceedings on the alleged obstruction of the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, Andriy Parubiy, regarding voting rights. On July 5, 2019, an application to the SBI was submitted by the Speaker of Parliament for an indictment under Part 4 of Article 157 (obstruction of the exercise of suffrage or the right to participate in a referendum, the work of an election commission or referendum commission, or the activities of an official observer) of the Criminal Code. The SBI did not initiate criminal proceedings. On July 22, the court examined the complaint and instructed the SBI to institute legal action. Earlier, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NACB) opened criminal proceedings on the alleged misuse of budget funds by Speaker Parubiy.