KIEV, September 19. /TASS/. Ukrainian Lawyer Andrei Portnov has claimed that ex-President of Ukraine Pyotr Poroshenko anticipated that his assets would be seized and cashed out money in a bank as well as reregistered his property, he said via his Telegram channel on Thursday.
"Fearing a seizure of accounts and assets, not only did Poroshenko withdrew $34 million in cash from the International Investment Bank but also reregistered 115,000 square meters of property belonging to Kiev’s Kuznya on Rybalsky factory to a business he controls right before the decision to seize his assets was made, somehow bypassing secrecy of investigation," wrote Portnov who served as deputy head of staff for ex-President Viktor Yanukovich.
The lawyer vowed to initiate a "seizure of the property ‘re-stolen’ by Poroshenko" and well as launch criminal proceedings against the former president for violating the secrecy of investigation, "which led to these assets being temporarily lost."
On September 17, Portnov announced that Kiev’s Pechersky District Court seized property and corporate rights of the Kuznya on Rybalsky factory, which the lawyer described as one of the key assets for Poroshenko.
Among the charges pressed against Poroshenko are high treason, abuse of power, money laundering, tax default, an attempt to usurp judicial power, and "the illegal appointment of Ukraine’s cabinet of ministers in 2016 in the absence of a coalition in the Verkhovna Rada." One of the cases concerns Kiev’s Kuznya on Rybalsky factory, which was one of Poroshenko's largest assets and which, according to the media, the former president fictitiously sold to Ukrainian businessman Sergei Tigipko. The case of the factory’s loss was opened on suspicion of tax fraud and the further laundering of illegally gained income.
Another case is investigating the possible involvement of the former president and former head of the National Bank Valeriya Gontareva as well as other people in the withdrawal of funds to offshore accounts. On September 12, Ukraine’s law enforcement bodies carried out searches at Kiev International Airport as part of the case of Poroshenko’s use of fake passports when travelling abroad. In early August, it emerged that the State Investigation Bureau of Ukraine registered a criminal case, which concerns the possible trip of the former president and his accomplices to the Maldives under fake documents in 2018 with support issued by customs and border services.