Petro Poroshenko successfully flew into court – Mir – Kommersant

Ex-president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko on Tuesday night left the courtroom in Kiev without handcuffs. The court, which chose a measure of restraint for him, postponed the decision until Wednesday. Mr. Poroshenko is accused in the case of treason in the supply of coal from the part of the Donbass that is not controlled by Kiev. He himself does not admit guilt and took the opportunity to make a political show out of everything that is happening. It began at Zhuliany airport, where Mr. Poroshenko arrived on Monday morning after a month of absence from the country. And it ended with dances of supporters of the ex-president near the walls of the courthouse and the singing of Christmas carols in the very meeting room. It seems that Petro Poroshenko was completely satisfied with the effect produced.

Awaiting arrest

On Monday, Petro Poroshenko came closer than ever to arrest. Directly from Zhuliany airport, where he arrived from Warsaw after a month abroad, the ex-president went to the capital’s Pechersk district court. There, all day long, they chose a preventive measure for him in the so-called “coal case.”

The meeting was scheduled for 12:00 Moscow time (11:00 in Kiev), but began only 40 minutes later due to the delay of judge Alexei Sokolov. Then, according to Petro Poroshenko, they tried to “illegally appoint” a free lawyer, but the ex-president refused the services of a lawyer. In the middle of the day the court went on a two-hour break, which ended at 18:20. At 19:40 the judge retired to the deliberation room. After several hours of waiting, the Ukrainian media began to report that Mr. Sokolov became ill, in connection with which a medical team was called. The court office, however, denied this information. As a result, closer to midnight, it was announced that the court’s decision would be announced only on Wednesday afternoon.

At the end of a long day, Petro Poroshenko clearly looked pleased. “Listen, how cool we are! – he said, standing at the entrance to the courthouse in front of his supporters. – We to them (to the current authorities. – “b”) showed that we love Ukraine more than anything else. And now we are here fighting for Ukraine. And they got scared. Today, January 17th, will be the beginning of the end for this incompetent green lewdness of their mindless populist era.”

At the door of the court, the show, in fact, continued all day: thousands of supporters of the ex-president rallied there. As usual, they came prepared: they set up the stage, brought state and party flags, as well as posters with the inscriptions “I am with gunpowder”, “We have gunpowder – we will give fire” and “Let’s return the clown to the circus” (meaning President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky .— “b”). Loud music played, drowning out the speakers in the courtroom. The protesters danced. The atmosphere, apparently, was transferred to the meeting room. Literally before dispersing, members of the same party and lawyers of the ex-president began to sing Christmas carols loudly, and later Petro Poroshenko himself joined them.

Recall that the Prosecutor General’s Office petitioned for the arrest of Petro Poroshenko for two months with the possibility of making a bail in the amount of 1 billion hryvnia (about $37 million). The prosecution also asked the court to oblige the ex-president, and now a deputy of the Verkhovna Rada, to surrender his passport and wear an electronic bracelet. The defense, on the other hand, insisted that formally the politician does not have the status of a suspect, since the corresponding agenda was not signed personally by the Prosecutor General. In addition, the lawyers noted that their client was not personally served with a subpoena. In this regard, they asked the court to return to the prosecutor’s office a request for a measure of restraint, but they were refused. Petro Poroshenko himself called the document with the request for arrest “waste paper” and “toilet paper”. “I don’t consider myself a suspect. I do not accept the falsification of case materials carried out by prosecutors,” he said.

Petro Poroshenko is suspected of treason in the case of organizing an illegal coal purchase scheme from the self-proclaimed republics of Donbass. The State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) believes that Mr. Poroshenko, acting in collusion with a group of persons (including the top leadership of the Russian Federation), in 2014-2015 assisted “the activities of terrorist organizations” LPR “and” DPR “”. Another suspect in this case is the head of the political council of the pro-Russian party Opposition Platform – For Life, Viktor Medvedchuk, who is now under house arrest. “Medvedchuk took on the function of a communicator, Poroshenko solved managerial and personnel issues, and, if necessary, exerted administrative influence,” Tatyana Sapyan, communications adviser for the SBI, revealed the details of the case. In total, the ex-president is charged with violating three articles of the Criminal Code (“Financing of terrorism”, “High treason” and “Creation of a terrorist organization”), for which he faces imprisonment for up to 15 years.

From airport to court

Mr. Poroshenko did his best to make his return to his homeland on Monday loud. On the eve of his arrival, he gave a briefing in Warsaw, during which he hinted several times at the similarity of his situation with the return to Russia exactly a year ago of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. So, the politician in a joking manner drew attention to the coincidence of the date – January 17, noting that he did not select it on purpose. He also admitted that the authorities could change the plane’s landing site at the last moment (Aleksey Navalny also faced this in 2021). Meanwhile, the ex-president’s European Solidarity party expressed fears that their leader would be detained right at the airport.

However, the return home went almost without incident. True, the ex-president himself did not think so: Mr. Poroshenko said that they tried not to let him into Ukraine (the border guards did not give the politician his passport for 15 minutes). Later, speaking at the airport in front of at least a thousand of his supporters, Mr. Poroshenko suggested that the worst did not happen, because the authorities were afraid of the scale of the rally. “Now I’m going to court. And there we will give them (to the authorities of Ukraine.— “b”) fight like Putin in 2014-2015. I am waiting for everyone at the court,” Petro Poroshenko said at the end of his speech.

In all his speeches on Monday, the ex-president actively denounced the authorities. “While we were building the foundation of statehood, Zelensky and Kolomoisky (businessman Igor Kolomoisky.— “b”) pulled bricks out of the foundation and built villas in Italy, destroying Ukraine. And they had the courage to accuse us of treason. They will bear responsibility for this,” he assured in the morning. While in court, Mr. Poroshenko also advised President Zelensky to “stop taking drugs,” and called the case against himself a political order from the head of state to eliminate his political rival.

Such harsh statements did not go unnoticed. “Today, ex-president Petro Poroshenko tried to make a completely artificial scandal and provoke a civil confrontation – instead of civilly and calmly carrying out the necessary procedures required by law,” the ruling Servant of the People party said in a statement posted on Facebook by its spokeswoman Yulia Paliychuk: Another suspect in the coal case, Mr Medvedchuk, showed more self-confidence and endurance than his longtime comrade Mr Poroshenko.

Commenting on the situation around Petro Poroshenko, the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov noted that the Kremlin does not closely monitor her. But, speaking not only and not so much about the Ukrainian ex-president, he added: “In general, now Zelensky’s political opponents are having a hard time in Ukraine. It is obvious. We fix it.”

Marina Kovalenko

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