On June 18, a trial in one of the many cases against former President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko took place. This is an episode regarding Poroshenko’s illegal appointment and dismissal of Serhiy Semochko as the First Deputy Foreign Intelligence Service. The case could not be called sensational, but the circumstances under which it will be considered are not entirely familiar. The court postponed the consideration of choosing a preventive measure to ex-president for Ukraine Petro Poroshenko. The next court meeting will be held on July 1, 2020.
First, Poroshenko’s lawyer Ilya Novikov reports that, according to some reports, the Office of the Prosecutor General would require a preventive measure in the form of detention for his client.
Secondly, Novikov informs that Judge Serhiy Vovk, who is in charge of this case, will consider the question of the restrictive measure. At one time Vovk imprisoned Yuriy Lutsenko and former acting Minister of Defense Valery Ivashchenko. (Lutsenko and Ivashchenko were imprisoned for 4 and 5 years in prison, respectively).
Vovk also made the decision to remove the arrest from more than 400 real estate objects associated with oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky. He also chose measures of restraint for the murder of journalist Pavlo Sheremet.
Vovk himself also came into the view of Themis. The High Qualifications Commission of Judges suspended him several times from refereeing. But he continued to work and even managed to regain his salary during the forced "downtime". And in January 2020, the Vyshgorod District Court of the Kyiv Region withdrew all charges of unprincipled refereeing from Vovk. In a word, the case of Poroshenko is in the hands of a very ambiguous personality.
The third point that makes this work special is that a few days ago Petro Poroshenko’s father passed away. His funeral is scheduled for June 18, the day of the interrogation of Poroshenko and his possible arrest.
Supporters of the ex-guarantor expressly declare that the current government is involved in this death. June 15, Poroshenko testified in the case of high treason against Viktor Yanukovych in the Court of Appeal. The late broadcast from the court was also watched by his father.
Political scientists believe that Petro Poroshenko would not be taken into custody. One of the reasons for this is that the Office of the Prosecutor General himself offers the person involved in the investigation an alternative: either in custody, or making a deposit in the amount of 10 million UAH (370,000 USD).
“I think Poroshenko will make a pledge for himself. Although the prosecutor’s office will ask for an arrest. But one can only guess what the court’s decision will be. From the news, it is known that the case will be examined by judge Vovk. That is, it is impossible to completely exclude the detention. But this would be a glaring fact against the background of the wave of warnings from the West, Europe, the USA, and Canada about the fate of Poroshenko,” says Yevgeny Bulavka.
And Andriy Zolotariov believes that no one would touch Poroshenko, at least for now, given his personal loss. “There will be no arrest. Given the tragic circumstances, the death of his father, I think that no one would arrest him. Maybe later, I do not exclude it. But not today. If he had been detained, it would certainly have made him a victim,” he says.
“In addition,” he adds, “there is a factor of Western participation in these processes, and the West sees a political component in the Poroshenko case, and there were certain warnings yesterday. As well as accusations against Zelensky, who is resorting to political persecution,” Vadym Karasiov states.
Arrest means Zelensky turns to Russia?
Regarding the close attention of the West, Karasiov is completely right. European Parliament plans to "closely monitor" the case against the fifth president. And this is not the first such warning.
If it is ignored, it will only mean that the game has reached a much more serious level than simply settling personal accounts between two presidents - the current and the former one.
“If the arrest occurs, it will be a signal that Ukraine is ready to exchange Western support for revenge on the political opponent of the president. Or that the latter deliberately goes to break ties with the civilized world. Actually, it has been said about changing the vector for a long time, but the peculiarity of this power is that it’s not saying anything directly,” Yevgeny Bulavka clarifies.
He adds: “Let’s recall the last year’s Kolomoisky interview, where he told The New York Times that he was ready to turn Ukraine towards Russia. Or that the so-called 12 points of the Munich Conference are now updated again. All current policies indicate a turn in side of the behind-the-scenes agreements with Russia.”
Meanwhile, Bogdan Petrenko draws attention to the following: “There is a request to put Poroshenko behind the bars. That is, to shift all responsibility for the events in the country from 2014 on to one person. This supposedly should calm the society. And the approach of elections only activates these processes. But this is actually not done for the sake of results, because if Poroshenko is imprisoned and Zelensky is deprived of his antipode, then who will he look so “good" against?” Bogdan Petrenko asks.
“In addition,” he continues, “the imprisonment of an official of Poroshenko’s level could trigger the domino effect, and Zelensky will become the next.”
Explaining the choice of case for the trial of Poroshenko, Petrenko points out the following. “Perhaps the Semochko case is the very case on which more evidence has been collected. I don’t want to draw a parallel with Al Capone, but he was eventually put to prison for tax evasion, and not for mafia activities. So here. In the Semochko case, it’s probably more realistic to prove something than other disturbed processes.”
Kirill Sazonov does not agree with this. The selection of the episodes for which the former guarantor is indicted does not hold water. "The case of Semochko? This is not a matter, but a PR effect, because the investigators only reminded people who Semochko is and why Poroshenko appointed him. The case with the paintings? Everything is very doubtful here. The case with the boats? That is when the Ukrainian ships were sailing in Ukrainian water? And it's all about nothing, "Sazonov is sure. That’s why, he says, “100% there will be no arrest.”
Opponents but not enemies
“When the court made a decision on the measure of restraint, there was still no information about the death of Poroshenko’s father. But now in the current situation, the authorities could reconsider the decision and postpone the trial until after the burial. Because we all perfectly understand what role Oleksiy Poroshenko played in his son’s life,” Ruslan Bortnyk said.
“If I were the prosecutor general, I would still postpone the trial for Poroshenko, despite his family circumstances,” Bogdan Petrenko agrees.
Actually, Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova initiated the postponement of the trial, but Petro Poroshenko demonstratively ignored this option, stating that he postpones the funeral.
President Zelensky ignored the family tragedy of his predecessor. Not a word was heard from Bankova to the Poroshenko family. However, according to Andriy Zolotarev: “President Zelensky could have expressed condolences to Poroshenko, but given that Zelensky’s opponents switched to a “personal” level of communication (I mean heap abuse from MP Sofia Fedyna and her associate Marusia Zvirobiy), this formed a persistent aversion to Poroshenko.”
The expert refers to the message with insults addressed to Zelensky and his wife Olena, which appeared on the page of Marusya Zvirobiy after reporting that the first lady was diagnosed with Covid-19. Subsequently, this message was deleted, and Zvirobiy explained his appearance by the work of hackers. However, few believed in this version. Even after another famous “hater” of Zelensky and MP from the Poroshenko faction, Sofia Fedyna, stood up to protect her friend.
However, returning to Poroshenko himself. “Family is something sacred,” said Kyrylo Sazonov. “And Poroshenko should be expressed the condolences on the death of his father, and Olena Zelenska should be wished soon recovery. First of all, we need to remain, humans, not politicians.”
Moreover, such an attitude towards the fifth president only “puts him into the actual leaders of the opposition. There is no room for either Yulia Tymoshenko or anyone else here. Only for Poroshenko. Although this situation is OK for Bankova. Thus Poroshenko would be less dangerous for them. He has no chance to go to power.”
Nevertheless, sympathy is a personal matter, Vadym Karasiov insists. “Poroshenko and Zelensky are not friends and not associates. They are united by mutual disgust. And it would look pretty fake if Zelensky began to sympathize with Poroshenko. In this situation, it seems to me, it is better to remain silent. This will be compassion. Because saying kind words and then arresting a person is some kind of Jesuitism and treachery. It’s hard to suspect Zelensky, for all his shortcomings,” he said.
But if you wish, Bohdan Petrenko observes, “you can find words so that regret about someone else’s loss doesn’t sound false.”
However, let it ride. In the end, things are more important than words.