Kiev court on Wednesday dismissed a claim for the arrest of former President Petro Poroshenko before trial.
The prosecutor’s office says Poroshenko, one of Ukraine’s richest businessmen, was involved in a coal sale that benefited Russian-backed militant gangs in eastern Ukraine in 2014 and 2015.
Poroshenko’s funds in the investigation are frozen. If convicted of treason, he could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.
Poroshenko, 56, who has been outside Ukraine in recent weeks, returned to Kiev this week. He insists he is not guilty of these allegations.
A Kiev court today dismissed Poroshenko’s pre-trial detention and sentenced him to $ 35 million in bail.
Poroshenko and his supporters applauded the judge’s decision and began singing the national anthem in court.
“Dear friends, I congratulate you. We came here today to show that we are not afraid that the truth is with us,” Poroshenko said.
However, the court ruled that Poroshenko must surrender his passport, effectively banning him from leaving the country.
Since Poroshenko’s presidency, he has been charged with a number of allegations of undemocratic billing in Ukraine and concern among Ukraine’s allies.
Poroshenko lost her election in 2019 after a corruption scandal and controversial reforms, but has gained patriotic fame for modernizing Ukraine’s army and fighting Russian-backed militant gangs in eastern Ukraine.
Poroshenko’s successor as president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has said he is fighting the oligarchs to reduce their influence in Ukraine’s political and economic life. Poroshenko, in turn, accuses Zelenski of trying to discredit him in order to divert public attention from Ukraine’s problems, including economic adversity and pandemics.