Newsdeck

Petro Poroshenko

Former Ukrainian president lands in Kyiv to face treason case

Former Ukrainian president lands in Kyiv to face treason case
epa09691018 Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (C) arrives to a court hearing in the Pechersky district court, where will choose a preventive measure on suspicion of treason and financing of terrorism, in Kiev, Ukraine, 17 January 2022.Petro Poroshenko supporters gathered in the airport to meet him after Ukrainian Prosecutor-General signed documents that obligate border guard personnel to arrest Petro Poroshenko immediately as he crossed the Ukrainian border. Poroshenko was summoned on 17 January 2022 to the Pechersky District Court for choosing of restraint with incrimination him the high treason and attempted looting of national values. EPA-EFE/OLEG PETRASYUK

KYIV, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Ukraine's former President Petro Poroshenko landed in Kyiv on Monday to face treason charges in a case he says was trumped up by allies of his successor, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

In a brief stand-off at border control after arriving on a flight from Warsaw, he accused the border guards of taking away his passport. He later emerged to a crowd of flag-waving supporters outside the airport.

Poroshenko’s return sets up a showdown with Zelenskiy’s government in what critics say is an ill-judged distraction at a time when Ukraine is bracing for a possible Russian military offensive and appealing to Western allies for support.

Western diplomats called for political unity in Ukraine ahead of Poroshenko’s arrival.

Poroshenko is being investigated for alleged treason linked to the financing of Russian-backed separatist fighters through illegal coal sales while in office in 2014-15. His party accused Zelenskiy of a reckless attempt to silence political opposition.

Zelenskiy’s administration says the prosecutors and judiciary are independent and accuses Poroshenko of thinking he is above the law.

“We are not here to protect Poroshenko, but to unite and protect Ukraine,” Poroshenko told the crowd.

At a briefing, Tetiana Sapyan, a spokeswoman for the State Bureau of Investigations (DBR), said Poroshenko had been handed a summons to appear in court later on Monday.

“However, Petro Poroshenko refused to receive procedural documents, ignored the legal requirements of the investigator, and at the same time, the persons who were with him carried out physical resistance, which was recorded on video recordings.”

Ukraine and its allies have sounded the alarm about tens of thousands of Russian troops massed near its borders.

After days of diplomacy last week achieved no breakthrough, the United States said on Friday Russia was preparing a pretext for an attack, something the Kremlin dismissed as “unfounded”.

By Pavel Polityuk and Natalia Zinets.

(Reporting by Sergiy Karazy, Pavel Polityuk and Natalia Zinets; Writing by Matthias Williams; Editing by Alex Richardson)

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.7% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.3% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.3% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.3%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.