Ukraine's security service summons ex-top officials in ‘coal case’

25 May, 05:55 PM
SBU summons ex-top officials in ‘coal case’ (Photo:SBU)

SBU summons ex-top officials in ‘coal case’ (Photo:SBU)

Ukraine’s SBU security service has summoned several former top Ukrainian officials for questioning in the so-called "coal case," according to a summons published on the agency's website on May 19.

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In particular, the SBU summoned former Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, former Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksandr Turchynov, former prime minister, leader of the People's Front Party Arseniy Yatsenyuk, and DTEK CEO Maksym Tymchenko.

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SBU spokesperson Artem Dekhtyarenko told the Interfax-Ukraine news agency that the said people had not appeared for interrogation at the appointed date.

According to the spokesman, they are involved in the case as witnesses and will be summoned again on May 30.

On May 23, pro-Russian MP Viktor Medvedchuk, said to have been Russian dictator Vladimir Putin's closest ally in Ukraine and a suspect of state treason, testified that former Ukrainian President and head of the European Solidarity (ES) Party Petro Poroshenko had been involved in corrupt energy schemes with Russian proxies in the Donbas.

Medvedchuk gave the names of senior officials, who were involved in defrauding the state. The list includes former bureaucrats, central bankers, MPs, and law enforcement officials.

The European Solidarity Party has described Medvedchuk’s claims as “informational sabotage” in the interests of Russia.

The treason charges the former president is now facing stem from allegedly criminal schemes for importing coal from Russian-occupied areas of the Donbas region – formerly Ukraine's key coal-mining region.

The State Bureau of Investigations alleges that Poroshenko abused his power and influence to annul coal contracts with South Africa and later, at Russia's behest, signed contracts for coal supply from the Russian-controlled parts of Ukraine, allegedly making "…Ukraine's energy supply dependent on Russia and Russia-controlled self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics."

Kyiv's Pechersk District Court on Jan. 6 ordered the seizure of the property owned by Poroshenko.

According to European Solidarity, these charges are political in nature and constitute President Volodymyr Zelensky prosecuting his political opponent. Poroshenko has accused Zelensky and oligarch Igor Kolomoisky of conspiring against him.

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