State prosecutors filed a motion with Kyiv Pechersky district court seeking a freeze of assets of Ukraine’s former president Petro Poroshenko while a hearing on his assests seizure will likely take place secretly to hide the proceedings from public view, laments Ihor Holovan, Poroshenko’s lawyer.
If granted, such a motion will come as violation of Ukraine’s Criminal Code as the procedure requires the presence of a defendant.
According to Holovan, the State Bureau of Investigation has violated the procedures wrongly rererring it to Kyiv Pechersky district court.
The lawyer said Poroshenko’s legal team is following the developments closely arguing State Bureau of Investigation and chief prosecutor’s office have been turned into ‘tools’ used to persecute Zelensky political rivals.
Later in the day, media reports confirmed the court ruling.
Ihor Holovan claims the decision was made with numerous procedural violations. Prosecutors stopped short of informing Petro Poroshenko about the upcoming hearing and failed to submit an appropriate court filing while the court dismissed the appeal of Poroshenko’s lawyers at the hearing where they were not present.
He stressed the verdict ‘violates the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights, which requires that a person be given sufficient time and opportunity to defend himself’.
The prosecutors’ appeal was notably signed by cProsecutor General Iryna Venediktova, but by her deputy.
Holovan is convinced the politically motivated persecution aims to cripple Petro Poroshenko’s political activities, adding the prosecutors deliberately filed this appeal ahead of holidays, the Orthodox Christmas Eve
Poroshenko’s lawyers said they will file a complain to the European Court of Human Rights.
‘Bukvy’ tried to contact the press service of the State Bureau of Investigation and Pechersky Court for comments, but did not receive any answer at the time of the publications.
Petro Poroshenko was issued a formal charge by chief prosecutor’s office on December 20. The investigation alleges the then president of Ukraine was part of illegal coal trade schemes in occupied Donbas back in 2014-2015, which got separatists over 200 million in profits.