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Ukraine’s ex-President Poroshenko grilled by investigators for nearly four hours

Poroshenko is involved in 16 criminal proceedings at various stages of their investigation
Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko (center) Pyotr Sivkov/TASS
Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko (center)
© Pyotr Sivkov/TASS

KIEV, January 24. /TASS/. Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has shown up at the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) for the first time in the last four months. He answered the investigators’ questions for almost four hours.

After he left the building, Poroshenko claimed that he had been summoned for a new interrogation on January 31, adding that he will come if he is in the country. The former president compared the interrogation to a show and accused the investigators of being unprepared and biased. He condemned the whole incident, branding it "political persecution," and accused the SBI of "working for Russia."

He blasted today’s interrogation — over possible treason charges when signing the Minsk Agreements — as a "horrible performance."

Poroshenko also fumed over the interrogation dates, because he claimed he had a flight to Davos planned for Friday, where he allegedly had a number of international meetings planned, which he had to cancel over the interrogation. He also claimed he had an international visit planned for January 31, when the agency plans to interrogate him over the legality of the government’s actions during the Kerch incident.

"The only reason why they are doing this is to obstruct international activity," Poroshenko insisted.

Scores of Poroshenko’s party comrades and associates gathered at the bureau’s building to support the former president. They wanted to be present during the interrogation, but law enforcement officers denied them access saying that would be illegal. An unnamed opponent brought a mock "golden toilet" as a symbol of Poroshenko’s corruption, but the former president’s supporters promptly threw him over a fence, shattering the gilded bathroom fixture.

Poroshenko’s post-presidential headaches

Poroshenko is involved in 16 criminal proceedings at various stages of their investigation. He is accused of treason, abuse of power, money laundering, tax evasion, attempted judicial power usurpation and unlawful cabinet appointments without a coalition in the Verkhovna Rada in 2016.

The ex-president has already shrugged off 28 interrogation subpoenas, the last one being on January 21.