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Ukraine’s Bureau of Investigation confirms request for stripping Poroshenko of immunity

The investigative body seeks to bring the ex-president to criminal liability

KIEV, November 18. /TASS/. Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigation has confirmed that it has submitted to the Prosecutor-General’s Office draft charges against and a request for indicting the country’s fifth president Pyotr Poroshenko.

"The SBI’s head office has submitted to the Prosecutor-General’s Office a draft report containing charges against Ukraine’s fifth president," the SBI stated in a news release. Also, the Prosecutor General’s Office was asked to examine a draft request to the Verkhovna Rada for consent to bringing Poroshenko to justice on criminal charges."

The requests were submitted in the process of pre-trial investigation of the criminal case over suspected unlawful influence on holding a contest for the selection of candidates for seats on the Supreme Council of Justice in March-May this year. The list of likely charges includes actions aimed at forcible change or overthrow of the constitutional system or seizure of state power and abuse of office. The maximum punishment under these articles of the Criminal Code is eight years in prison.

On Monday, the chief of staff of Ukraine’s fourth President Viktor Yanukovich, lawyer Andrei Portnov, said the SBI had submitted to the Prosecutor-General’s Office a draft request for stripping Poroshenko of immunity and bringing him to justice.

Earlier, Prosecutor-General Ruslan Ryaboshakpa informed that there were several criminal cases in which Poroshenko might be involved in the capacity of an accused. He added that all such cases were connected with abuse of power and office. SBI chief Roman Truba reported that the SBI had opened 13 cases in which Poroshenko was involved. All of them are being investigated. Poroshenko is not a suspect in any of them, though.