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Ukrainian Court Rules Force Can Be Used To Bring Ex-President In For Questioning

Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is currently serving as a member of parliament.

KYIV – A court in Kyiv has ruled that former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko can be brought by force to the offices of the State Bureau of Investigations (DBR) after he twice ignored a summons last month.

Announcing its decision on June 4, the Pechera District Court said that investigators want to question Poroshenko on June 10 about the alleged illegal transfer of valuable paintings across the border.

Poroshenko failed to show up at the DBR on May 26 and May 29, as investigators wanted to question him as a witness about "the circumstances of moving across the Ukrainian border, without presenting to customs services, a collection of cultural objects, consisting of 43 paintings by world-famous artists."

On May 29, DBR investigators also wanted to question Poroshenko in an investigation into an audio recording of individuals who are thought to possibly be Poroshenko and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.

In May, lawmaker Andriy Derkach said the audio recording proved that Poroshenko had committed "high treason."

Poroshenko's lawyers have said the ex-president did not show up at the DBR because the summons had been made via the agency’s website. They said their client should have been served the subpoena personally.

Poroshenko has been questioned as a witness several times in recent months in cases looking into several investigations launched after he failed to win a second term as president last year.

In January, the DBR said that it was looking into 13 possible cases in which Poroshenko or his associates were implicated.

A billionaire confectioner, Poroshenko currently serves as a member of parliament.

His party ran on a pro-European, anti-Russian ticket in July parliamentary elections, winning 25 seats.