Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) has registered criminal proceedings on the pressure on ex-Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin by the former US Vice President Joseph Biden, as Interfax-Ukraine reports.
“The SBI entered information about a criminal offense into the Unified register of pre-trial investigations,” Shokin's lawyer Oleksandr Teleshetsky said at a press conference Thursday at Interfax-Ukraine.
The case was opened based on Shokin’s statement, the court ordered the SBI to register this proceeding.
According to the lawyer, Shokin reported Biden’s pressure on him. “The reason for the pressure was the investigation by the Prosecutor General's Office of grave international corruption crimes related to the activities of ex-Minister of Ecology Mykola Zlochevsky and Burisma executives,” Teleshetsky said.
He added that the relevant suit had been filed to the SBI on January 28, 2020, but the information on criminal offense had only been submitted to the Unified register of pre-trial investigations on February 24, after the court had ordered the SBI to register the case.
The lawyer reported that it was being investigated under Part 2 of Art. 343 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (interference with the activity of a law enforcement officer).
At the same time, the lawyer emphasized that, despite Shokin’s statement of Biden’s name, the proceedings mention a “US citizen,” without the name.
The lawyer also reminded that the SBI was investigating criminal proceedings on Shokin's statement on disclosure of the secret of the pre-trial investigation to the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine.
“Given that a possible figurant in all three of these criminal offenses is Joseph Biden as the man who, in our opinion, is involved in all these events, we consider it necessary for the effectiveness of the investigation...to combine the proceedings into one, to create an effective investigative team and a group of experienced prosecutors,” Teleshetsky said.
The lawyer also added that it was appropriate to involve the U.S. side in the investigation so he would address the Prosecutor General's Office with such request.
“We will definitely do it. This is one of the priority directions in this criminal proceeding because without the use of mechanisms of international legal cooperation it is impossible to investigate this case,” he explained.
“Viktor Shokin, based on Biden’s statements in public, has good reason to believe that Biden is the customer, and sometimes the perpetrator of those criminal offenses which Shokin reported to the law enforcement agencies of Ukraine,” the lawyer said.
Teleshetsky said that Greece's law enforcement authorities are investigating the fact of Shokin's poisoning with mercury in 2019, and the ex-Prosecutor General of Ukraine himself links this attempt with Biden.
"For today, there are no results of the investigation into this fact, we do not have sufficient grounds to state...to file to Greek law enforcement agencies with requests or warrants before they establish objective truth of all circumstances...They may appear tomorrow or the day after tomorrow," he added.
US President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani reportedly said in a number of interviews that the former Vice President was involved in Ukrainian politics and corruption cases. In particular, he claims that former Prosecutor General of Ukraine Viktor Shokin was fired at Biden's request - allegedly for having investigated Burisma's relations with his son, Hunter Biden.
At the end of January 2020, Shokin stated that he had been poisoned with mercury five months ago in Greece, after which he had undergone a long treatment period.
“I have no obvious enemies, which I know to be an enemy for sure. Certainly, it is one of the versions, but this version requires investigation, but there is a possibility of Biden's involvement in some of these issues. I have officially addressed the Greek law enforcement agencies on this matter...I asked them to investigate...Officially, I have not yet received the answer, although I addressed a long time ago on the issue of initiation of criminal proceedings in connection with my intended murder, "he said.