Ukraine’s prosecutor general and the head of national security agency have been suspended, but not fired, the presidential administration says
Ukraine’s prosecutor general and Security Service (SBU) chief have been suspended, but no decision has been made on whether to fire them, the office of President Volodymyr Zelensky clarified on Monday.
Prosecutor General Irina Venediktova and SBU chief Ivan Bakanov were removed from duty in a surprise announcement on Sunday, with Zelensky claiming it was done because of “rampant” treason in both agencies, with 651 criminal cases against its employees launched.
Such a vast “array of crimes,” as well as contacts between “employees of law enforcement agencies of Ukraine and Russia,” raise “serious questions” for Venediktova and Bakanov, the president insisted, warning that “every such question will get an appropriate answer.”
The deputy head of Zelensky’s office, Andrey Smirnov, has now said “there’s currently no talk about firing those two officials. We’re talking about suspending the Prosecutor General from office, and the head of the SBU being temporarily barred from his duties.”
The move was intended to prevent Venediktova and Bakanov from influencing criminal investigations against staff of their agencies, Smirnov explained, according to Interfax-Ukraine.
The probes could end with both the prosecutor general and SBU chief being reinstated, he pointed out.
In a later TV appearance, Smirnov reiterated that Zelensky would decide the future of the two officials only after investigations are concluded.
The deputy head of Zelensky’s office rejected speculation that Aleksey Simonenko, who has been appointed acting prosecutor general, is set to keep the role permanently.
“Some politicians should engage in less politics during wartime,” he advised.
Smirnov also noted that the president would need approval from the Ukrainian parliament to reshuffle officials in such high-profile positions as prosecutor general or security chief.
https://ift.tt/xiEhepV 18, 2022 at 06:42PM
from RT – Daily news