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Poklonskaya says appointment as Crimea’s Prosecutor General could have cost her life

March 11, 2015, 9:58 UTC+3 SIMFEROPOL

She said she received calls with threats from Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office

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Crimea’s chief prosecutor Natalia Poklonskaya

Crimea’s chief prosecutor Natalia Poklonskaya

© Ruslan Shamukov/TASS

SIMFEROPOL, March 11. /TASS/. Appointement to the position of Crimea’s Prosecutor General could have cost her life, Poklonskaya said in an interview with TASS on Wednesday. She was appointed as chief prosecutor by Crimea’s Supreme Council (now called State Council) a year ago — on March 11, 2014.

"Someone called me, tried to frighten me, threatened me, told me I would go to jail, I would be killed, torn apart," Poklonskaya said. "I received calls from Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office. They openly told me that if I leave the prosecutor’s office of the Republic of Crimea now, they would assess it as voluntary refusal from criminal activity. If not, then a car with special services is already on its way, I would be arrested and thrown into prison. I said that I would better be in prison than serve fascists," she added.

Poklonskaya was asked to take the position of Crimea’s chief prosecutor in March 2014 by Sergey Aksyonov, then-chairman of the Ministers’ Council, who she had known for only several days. She was the second candidate for the position. Deputies first approved Alexander Shtekhbart, but he later refused.

"At that moment, a man was supposed to become a prosecutor, he was already approved by the presidium [of Crimea’s State Council], however, he turned the position down at the very last moment. Then I received a call on my cell phone, and Sergey Valerievich [Aksyonov] said, ‘Will you be the prosecutor, you should be first.’ And I said, ‘Of course, I will’," Poklonskaya said.

On March 25, 2014 Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chaika ordered to set up a prosecutor’s office of the Republic of Crimea, and Natalia Poklonskaya was appointed Crimea’s Prosecutor General. The next day, Ukraine’s Interior Ministry put her on the wanted list.

"There was no fear, I had to take great responsibility," Poklonskaya said. "I threw fear away — I will be afraid later. I will do everything first, and then be afraid. We had to do a lot to show people that we are for the right cause," she added.

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