Waiting for arrest
On Monday, Petro Poroshenko was closer than ever to being arrested. Directly from the Zhuliany airport, where he arrived from Warsaw after a month abroad, the ex-president went to the capital's Pechersky District Court. There, all day they chose a preventive measure for him in the so-called “coal case”.
The hearing was scheduled for 12:00 Moscow time (11:00 in Kyiv), but began only after 40 minutes due to Judge Aleksey Sokolov being late. Then, according to Petro Poroshenko, they tried to “illegally appoint” him a free lawyer, but the ex-president refused the services of a defense attorney. In the middle of the day, the court went on a two-hour break, which ended at 18:20. At & nbsp; 19:40 the judge retired to the deliberation room. After several hours of waiting, the Ukrainian media began to report that Sokolov became ill, in connection with which a medical team was called. The office of the court, however, denied this information. As a result, closer to midnight, it was announced that the court's decision would be announced only on Wednesday afternoon.
At the end of a long day, Petro Poroshenko clearly looked pleased. «Listen, how cool you we are! he said, standing at the entrance to the courthouse in front of his supporters. — We them (the current authorities. — “Ъ”) showed that we love Ukraine more than anything else. And we are now fighting here for Ukraine. And they got scared. Today, January 17, for this incompetent green lewdness will be the beginning of the end of their meaningless populist era».
At the doors of the court, the show, in fact, lasted all day: thousands of supporters of the ex-president rallied there. As usual, they came prepared: they set up the stage, brought with them the state and party flags, and also posters with the inscriptions "I am with gunpowder", "There is gunpowder — let's give fire» and "Bring the clown back to the circus" (meaning Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. — «Kommersant»). Loud music played, drowning out the speakers in the courtroom. The protesters danced. The atmosphere, apparently, was transferred to & nbsp; the meeting room. Literally before dispersing, members of the same party and ex-president's lawyers began to sing Christmas carols loudly, and later Petro Poroshenko himself joined them.
Recall that the Prosecutor General's Office petitioned for the arrest of Petro Poroshenko for two months with the possibility of posting a bail in the amount of 1 billion hryvnia (about $37 million). The prosecution also asked the court to oblige the ex-president, and now a deputy of the Verkhovna Rada, to surrender his passport and wear an electronic bracelet.
The defense insisted that the formally, the politician does not have the status of a suspect, since the corresponding subpoena was not signed personally by the Prosecutor General. In addition, the lawyers noted that their client was not personally served with the subpoena. In this regard, they asked the court to return to the prosecutor's office a request for a preventive measure, but they were refused. Petro Poroshenko himself called the document with the request for arrest “waste paper” and "toilet paper". “I don’t consider myself a suspect. I do not accept falsification of case materials carried out by prosecutors, — said he.
Petro Poroshenko is suspected of treason in the case of organizing an illegal coal purchase scheme from the self-proclaimed republics of Donbass. The State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) believes that Poroshenko, acting in a conspiracy with a group of persons (including the top leadership of the Russian Federation), in 2014—2015 assisted the activities of terrorist organizations“LPR” and“DPR””. A suspect in this case is also the head of the political council of the pro-Russian party “Opposition Platform”— For life» Viktor Medvedchuk, who is now under house arrest.
«Medvedchuk took on the function of a communicator, Poroshenko solved managerial and personnel issues, and in case of need exerted administrative influence», — Tatyana Sapyan, Communications Adviser of the SBI, revealed the details of the case.
In total, the ex-president is charged with violating three articles of the Criminal Code (“Financing of terrorism”, “High treason” and “Creation of a terrorist organization”), for which he faces imprisonment for up to 15 years.
From airport — in court
Poroshenko did his best to make his return to his homeland on Monday loud. On the eve of his arrival, he delivered a briefing in Warsaw, during which he hinted several times at the similarity of his situation with the return of opposition leader Alexei Navalny to Russia exactly a year ago. So, the politician in a joking manner drew attention to the match of the date — January 17, noting that specially didn't pick her up. He also admitted that the authorities could change the plane's landing site at the last moment (Aleksey Navalny also faced this in 2021). Meanwhile, in the party of the ex-president “European Solidarity” expressed fears that their leader would be detained right at the airport.
At the same time, the return home went almost without excesses. True, it didn’t seem so to the ex-president himself: Poroshenko said that they tried to keep him out of Ukraine (border guards didn’t give the politician a passport for 15 minutes). Later, speaking at the airport in front of at least a thousand of his supporters, Poroshenko suggested that the worst did not happen, because the authorities were afraid of the scale of the rally. “Now I go to court. And there we will give them (the authorities of Ukraine.— “Ъ”) a fight, like Putin in 2014—2015. I'm waiting for everyone at court», — Petro Poroshenko said at the end of his speech.
In all his speeches on Monday, the ex-president actively denounced the authorities. “While we were building the foundation of statehood, Zelensky and Kolomoisky (businessman Igor Kolomoisky. —“Kommersant”) pulled bricks out of the foundation and built villas in Italy, destroying Ukraine. And they had the courage to accuse us of high treason. They will bear responsibility for — he assured in the morning. While in court, Poroshenko also advised President Zelensky to “stop taking drugs”, and called the case against himself a political order of the head of state to eliminate his political rival.
Such harsh statements did not go unanswered. “Today, ex-president Petro Poroshenko tried to make a completely artificial scandal and provoke a civil confrontation — instead of civilly and calmly carrying out the necessary procedures required by law, — said in a statement by the ruling Servant of the People party, published on Facebook by its spokeswoman Yulia Paliychuk. Another suspect in “the coal case”, Medvedchuk, showed more self-confidence and restraint than his old comrade Poroshenko».
Commenting on the situation around Petro Poroshenko, the press Secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov noted that the Kremlin does not follow her closely. But, speaking not on and not so much about the Ukrainian ex-president, he added: «In general, now Zelensky's political opponents are having a hard time in Ukraine. It is obvious. We fix».