Why cases against Petro Poroshenko are being closed?

Author : Natalia Lebed

Source : 112 Ukraine

We counted 24 cases brought against the former president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko. However, already 23. Lawyer of Poroshenko Ilya Novikov informed on July 8 that one of them (namely, with regard to tax evasion from PJSC Kuznitsa on Rybalsky Plant income) was closed. In support of his words, Novikov demonstrated a decree from Oleg Koretsky, the head of the Third Investigation Department of the First Directorate for the Pre-trial Investigations of the State Investigation Bureau
22:47, 13 July 2020

The fifth president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko

By the way, in a recent interview with Yanina Sokolova, Petro Poroshenko said that until recently there were more criminal proceedings, but three of them have already been closed. What episodes are in question, he did not specify but added that he was being prosecuted on the personal instructions of Volodymyr Zelensky.

The question was clarified by the head of the Attorney General’s Office Iryna Venedyktova. She confirmed that charges against the ex-president have diminished. "Three proceedings - regarding the appointment of the prime minister due to the lack of a coalition, interference in the Kyiv District Administrative Court activities, the appointment the High Council of Justice members - were closed due to the lack of corpus delicti," she said. And then she added, that a new case arose - according to the statement of the Foreign Intelligence Service head.

Venedyktova didn’t say anything about the Kuznitsa on the Rybalsky case, which is not surprising. At the time of her speech, it was not known that the investigator Koretsky would decide on such a demarche. After all, the closure of the case was precisely a demarche and not an ordinary investigative action. Oleg Koretsky used this reason to declare to the whole country: he did not initiate this case by his own free will, they pressed him and demanded that he act unlawfully.

But now, they say, justice prevails. And everything would be fine, but there are puzzles that do not fit into this story. Puzzles from the background of Koretsky himself.

Oleg Koretsky expressed a desire to communicate directly with reporters. He chose three media: Glavkom, Censor.Net, and Pryamyi Channel. In an interview published by the Glavkom website, Koretsky tells how the persecution of Petro Poroshenko began and continued. According to him, everything was like that.

Eighteen months ago, the deputy director of the State Security Bureau, Olexander Babikov, and the head of the Main Investigation Department, Maxym Borchakovsky, demanded that Koretsky call Petro Poroshenko to speak about “all criminal proceedings.” Koretsky refused.

He further says that he informed Babikov about the absence of corpus delicti in the "Semochko case". This, we recall, is the accusation against Poroshenko of forcing Bozhko to exceed his authority and to illegally appoint the deputy head of Foreign Intelligence Service Serhiy Semochko.

The case of Semochko, argues Koretsky, looked like one of the least promising. However, Attorney General Venedyktova herself reported suspicion to the ex-president. "She took full responsibility. She will answer in the future if there will be an acquittal," Koretsky said.

Now the hero of the day is waiting for his resignation. “I think that most likely today (it’s July 8th) they’ll try to fire me. I don’t know would the reason be legal actions or illegal or absenteeism. This is a question for them. It’s clear that this decision will be illegal, it’s clear that I will appeal it through the court. As for their further actions, they can come and conduct searches at my house, they can detain me. These are such people," Koretsky is convinced.

However, as of now, no repressive actions against Koretsky are known. Although the Investigation Bureau itself not only refutes everything that was said by their employee, they also recall: “The actions of the said employee contain certain signs of a criminal offense, namely the disclosure of the information of the pre-trial investigation.” Therefore, Koretsky, quite possibly, faces not only dismissal, but also arrest.

What is wrong with Koretsky?

During his interview with three media, Oleg Koretsky avoided in every possible way questions that concerned his own “origin,” that is, his appearance in the Investigation Bureau system and relations with people who could get him there. Meanwhile, as political analyst Kyrylo Sazonov says, “there are a couple of funny moments in this story. If you know them, it’s immediately minus one hundred to romance and a high level in cynicism about understanding Ukrainian politics. People who know say that the investigator of the Bureau Koretsky, who closed cases regarding Poroshenko is a protege of ex-MP Oleksander Granovsky."

And the 40-year-old Granovsky, mentioned by Sazonov, is a remarkable person. He was MP of the previous convocation, having gone to parliament on the lists of Petro Poroshenko Bloc. He also appeared in the debunking of Mikheil Saakashvili, who accused Granovsky, as well as another politician close to Poroshenko, Igor Kononenko, of personally denying Saakashvili’s  Ukrainian citizenship. Finally, Granovsky is also exposed in the scandal surrounding Onishchenko’s tapes. The statement refers to the fugitive deputy Olexander Onishchenko that he has evidence regarding the participation of Granovsky and Kononenko in the bribery of the parliament MPs in the interests of Petro Poroshenko.

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That is, if Granovsky is a man of Poroshenko, and Koretsky is a man of Granovsky, then it turns out that the investigator of the Bureau also acts in the interests of the former president. But he himself opened criminal proceedings against Petro Poroshenko, and, consequently, harmed him.

No, this is not so, Sazonov is convinced. The expert does not see any contradictions in the history of Koretsky. His proximity to Granovsky "just explains how he managed to maintain his post first under Iryna Venedyktova (former interim chairman of the Bureau), and after her under Olexander Sokolov (current acting head of the Bureau." According to Sazonov, Koretsky was not without reason implanted into the structure of the Investigation Bureau, because "at the right time he helped Poroshenko."

And it seems that the political scientist is right. Koretsky was useful to Poroshenko not only when he made his statement, but also during the next attempt by the Pechersk court to choose a preventive measure for Poroshenko. During the trial of the same “Semochko case”, the ex-president’s advocates began to demand that Judge Vovk call Oleg Koretsky for interrogation. This, in fact, stalled the lawsuit.

The judge first took a break, taking advantage of the lunch break, and then something unexpected happened. The prosecutors in the case of the appointment of Semochko said that the pre-trial investigation was completed, and therefore it was not advisable to choose a preventive measure. “Today we achieved one more result. We did not just win - they began to be afraid of us,” Petro Poroshenko summed up the events in court.

What’s next?

But the fact that Poroshenko has not chosen a preventive measure does not mean that the case has been handed over to the archive. As the Prosecutor General Venedyktova says, "hereinafter" there will be the court. And perhaps a sentence. The sanction of the article on abuse of office (we are talking about the case of Semochko) provides for imprisonment of 7 to 10 years.

“Today’s case is a case in which enough evidence has been gathered to inform a person of a suspicion of a serious crime. Unfortunately, the numerous shortcomings and contradictions of the Criminal Code make it possible to stall the case," says Venedyktova.

But, she hints, the ending of this long-playing story is just around the corner. "The investigation has been completed, and then the case will be in the court. The prosecutor's work with the cases should end," said she.

And if someone is embarrassed by the choice of the episode for the final reprisal against Poroshenko, the deputy director of the Ukrainian Institute for the Study of Extremism Bogdan Petrenko calls not to be surprised at his pettiness. “Perhaps the Semochko case is the very case on which the most evidence has been collected. I don’t want to draw a parallel with Al Capone, but in the end, he was sentenced for tax evasion, and not for mafia activities. So here it’s probably more realistic to prove something than in other exciting proceedings,” says Petrenko.

He adds that in general "there is a request to imprison Poroshenko, that is, to shift all responsibility for the events in the country from 2014 on to one person. This supposedly should calm society. And the approach of elections only activates these processes. But this is being done in fact, not for the sake of result, because if Poroshenko is imprisoned and Zelensky is deprived of his antipode, then he will not look so “good”.

Well, it is quite possible that, in fact, the case will never reach the verdict and indicative imprisonment. Although supporters (and just observers) of Yulia Tymoshenko reasoned in much the same way back in 2011, when one of the ordinary hearing on her case completely unexpectedly ended in the detention of the leader of the "Fatherland". And then there was the trial and the Kachanovsky colony known throughout Europe. And the same 7 years of imprisonment that ended much earlier thanks to the events of 2014.

But Viktor Yanukovych, who jailed Tymoshenko, was hardly interested in preserving in her person the "antipode" that Bogdan Petrenko speaks of. Therefore, most likely, president Zelensky will act less straightforwardly, and therefore the epic with the courts and suspicions for Poroshenko will drag on to the end of the Zelensky cadence. Moreover, both parties receive dividends from the process. For the fifth president, the profit consists of an additional free tribune for fiery speeches, and for the sixth - in imitation of violent activity.

In addition, according to experts, Zelensky’s hands are tied by clearly articulated dissatisfaction of the West (while Yanukovych, for example, did not pay attention to this factor). The further unwinding of Poroshenko’s cases is the way “to a serious increase in the degree of conflict, and this has been enough for us recently,” says Vadym Karasev, director of the Institute for Global Strategies. “In addition,” he adds, “in the West, they see the political component in Poroshenko’s case and there are already accusations against Zelensky that he is resorting to political persecution.”

On our own, we’ll add that the voices of the West have lately become really louder. On June 12, the European Parliament announced that it intends to "closely monitor" all the processes around the former head of state. And on July 8, the former President of Poland, Alexander Kwasniewski, and the former President of the European Parliament, Pat Cox, repeated this mantra almost word for word, once again emphasizing precisely "close attention" from the relevant European structures.

So, the conditional "execution" of Petro Poroshenko is likely to be postponed indefinitely.

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