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Ukraine’s prosecutor general asks court to arrest former President Poroshenko

The Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office has asked a court to arrest former President Petro Poroshenko on suspicion of high treason and financing pro-Russian separatists, a lawmaker from Poroshenko’s faction in parliament said Friday.

“On Christmas Eve, the prosecutor general office confirmed the information … that the prosecutor general had approved a motion to arrest Poroshenko with the possibility of bail set at 1 billion hryvnia [$37 million],” Iryna Gerashchenko said on Facebook.

The prosecutor general’s office declined to confirm Gerashchenko’s claim.

On Monday, the state investigative bureau said Poroshenko, who is visiting Poland, was suspected of “facilitating the activities” of terrorist organizations in a preliminary conspiracy with an unnamed group of people, including some top officials in Russia.

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The next day, Poroshenko dismissed as unacceptable a decision by authorities to investigate him for high treason. His party said the accusation was fabricated on the instructions of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

“Our political team views the recent actions [of the presidential office] and its fully controlled security forces as political repression against the opposition and its leader, selective justice, intimidation and pressure,” Gerashchenko said.

Ukraine has been at war with Russian-backed separatists in the Donbass region since 2014. Moscow has unnerved the West with a troop buildup near Ukraine in recent months.

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