Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko Returns Home to Face Treason Charges

Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko returned to his home country on Jan. 17 to face treason charges that he claimed were politically motivated.

Poroshenko headed straight to court right after arriving from the Kyiv international airport, telling a crowd of supporters that the charges were “a challenge to all of us.”

Prosecutors alleged that Poroshenko facilitated purchases of large amounts of coal during his presidency that helped finance Russian-backed insurgents in eastern Ukraine from 2014 to 2015.

Prosecutors said Poroshenko should post one billion hryvnia ($35,320,174) in bail or be remanded in custody for two months pending investigation and trial.

Prosecutors also said that Poroshenko should be banned from leaving Kyiv.

As part of the investigation, authorities froze Poroshenko’s assets.

Poroshenko, who owns the Roshen confectionary empire, is one of the richest businesspeople in Ukraine.

If convicted, Poroshenko faces up to 15 years in prison.

Meanwhile, Poroshenko accused prosecutors of acting “shamefully” and of “dividing” the country.

Poroshenko also criticized current President Volodymyr Zelesnky of attempting to politically discredit him to distract Ukraine from its widespread problems, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, economic troubles, and Russian troops deployed at the Ukrainian border.

The hearing lasted all day and into the night without a decision on whether he should be arrested.

The court postponed the ruling to Jan. 19.

The charges are the latest in a serious of accusations against Poroshenko since he lost to Zelensky in the 2019 elections.


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