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Ukraine: Petro Poroshenko involved in 12 different investigations
The April presidential election in Ukraine brought former comedian Volodymyr Zelensky to power. His victory was made possible by a strong disengagement from the Ukrainian political elite, and former President Petro Poroshenko in particular, suspected of abuse of power and complicity in corruption cases. Justice has lost no time: less than three months after losing power, the former president is already involved in 12 different investigations.
of our correspondent in Kiev,
There is a bit of everything in these twelve cases: tax evasion, money laundering, an undeclared border crossing, or the protection of a corrupt judge. One of the investigations aims to establish whether the former head of state exploited the war situation between Ukraine and Russia for political ends. So it's a fairly wide range, which brings together a lot of the scandals of the past five years. That said, Petro Poroshenko is only a witness in these investigations for now, he is not indicted. And besides, he is washing himself of every fault, and assures that he has nothing to hide. He has just agreed to switch to the lie detector.
So many cases so quickly opened: can we talk about political persecutions?
The reputation of the Ukrainian judicial system is known, with many cases of political persecution in the past . Petro Poroshenko's supporters themselves speak of political persecution. In some cases, it is clearly a settling of accounts.
For example, the first two cases, including treason, is a political enemy of Petro Poroshenko who initiated them. So the motivation is clear, even if she says nothing about the substance of the case. But the doubt about the innocence of Petro Poroshenko is really allowed because his system has allowed abuse and served to the personal enrichment of some of his relatives. This is a fact proven by journalist investigations. It is therefore normal that justice is interested in these cases.
Nevertheless, in the Ukrainian context, suspicions of targeted and political persecution are to be taken seriously. For now, there is no evidence that the Presidency is involved in the investigations. Some put forward an instinctive instinct of the judiciary, highly politicized and corrupt. Prosecutors and judges try to show their loyalty to Volodymyr Zelensky.
The new president has promised to reform the judicial system
Volodymyr Zelensky had made the reform of the justice of the fight against corruption priorities. For the time being, he has dismissed numerous officials suspected of corruption, made all-out shocking statements, and announced ambitious plans, such as canceling the immunity of all newly elected deputies.
Only in September will the new Parliament elect a government. And we will see the reality of the reforms from there. What is certain is that the popular demand for severe justice and arrests of corrupt personalities is immense. The population has been dramatically impoverished during the 28 years of independence, in part because of corruption. We hear a lot of calls for exemplary prison sentences. So whatever the justification for the investigations currently involving Petro Poroshenko, there are not many people to support him: it is really a case that crystallizes popular anger here in Ukraine.