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Ukrainian Lawyer For Russian Prisoner Says Kyiv Leaders Libeled Her

The Ukrainian lawyer for former Russian prisoner Yevgeny Yerofeyev has filed a libel lawsuit against Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Ukraine's chief military prosecutor Anatoliy Matios.

The suit filed by attorney Oksana Sokolovska on June 10 demands that Poroshenko retract an allegedly false claim that she dragged out the procedure of setting her client Yerofeyev free to delay a prisoner swap of Yerofeyev and another Russian prisoner, Aleksandr Aleksandrov, for Ukrainian military aviator Nadia Savchenko, who was imprisoned in Russia.

The suit says Poroshenko made that statement at a news conference on June 3. The prisoner exchange occurred on May 25.

Sokolovska said the claim has been detrimental to her business reputation and dignity. She is demanding that Poroshenko call a news conference to withdraw the claim.

The lawsuit also demands retraction of a televised statement by Matios charging that the lawyer had coordinated her actions with Russia's State Security Service, the FSB.

It demands information about any unauthorized investigations of her by Ukrainian authorities as well as $4,000 in compensation for "moral damage."

Matios told Ukrainian Channel 5 that he is prepared to prove the lawsuit is groundless.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax

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