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‘Ukraine's richest man' faces criminal prosecution over Zelensky's claims

Added 12-03-21 06:37:02am EST - “Hundreds of criminal cases will soon be launched against companies linked to one of Kiev's most high-profile businessmen, Rinat Akhmetov, after he was accused of being behind a failed bid to oust the Ukrainian government.” - Rt.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Rt.com: “‘Ukraine’s richest man’ faces criminal prosecution over Zelensky's claims”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

Writing in a Facebook post on Thursday, the country’s Prosecutor General Irina Venediktova said that “an unusual show” had been playing out in recent weeks, with President Volodymyr Zelensky accusing Akhmetov of plotting to stage a Russian-backed coup attempt. “I don’t think that in a public and political storm, the office of the Attorney General should sit aside,” she went on.

“I will repeat and emphasize,” Venediktova wrote, “I am not calling anyone an assailant, an oligarch or an offender, but I do have the right at such a pivotal moment for the country to activate the investigation of a whole number of criminal proceedings…regarding entities from the orbit of the owner of several famous TV channels, coal enterprises, and energy companies.”

“We have conducted a preliminary analysis of the whole array of criminal proceedings and now it turns out that we are talking about more than 200 cases. This figure is just a superficial estimate, I am convinced that there are more,” she added.

Akhmetov oversees a steel and coal empire worth a purported $7.6 billion, as well as owning Shakhtar Donetsk Football Club and several TV channels that backed opponents of Zelensky in the last presidential election. The business tycoon has been one of the most high-profile critics of the government in recent years.

The remarks from the top prosecutor come shortly after Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky accused Akhmetov of backing a bid to oust his government. The power-grab, however, did not materialize in early December, which is when the head of state had claimed it would take place.

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