- Title: Ukraine's new top prosecutor: no evidence against Hunter Biden so far
- Date: 4th October 2019
- Summary: KIEV, UKRAINE (OCTOBER 4, 2019) (REUTERS) UKRAINE'S NEW CHIEF PROSECUTOR RUSLAN RYABOSHAPKA ARRIVES FOR NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINE'S NEW CHIEF PROSECUTOR RUSLAN RYABOSHAPKA, SAYING: "As to the number of proceedings, I cannot say an exact number, as we have started working only recently. And the audit of the proceedings I mentioned before has started only recently. From the proceedings we have reviewed - there are over 15 proceedings where Burisma, (Hunter) Biden or (Burisma founder Mykola) Zlochevsky or (Serhiy) Kurchenko might be involved. But I cannot say that these are all the proceedings that we are reviewing now or we do understand now. The audit of proceedings continues. We will let you know as soon as we have an understanding of the situation." NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINE'S NEW CHIEF PROSECUTOR RUSLAN RYABOSHAPKA, SAYING: "We are carrying out audit of all the high-profile cases which were dropped or considered by the previous prosecutor's office staff. And after reviewing of those cases we will understand which decisions can be accepted, and which decisions have to be made. I cannot guess what kind of decisions will be taken." MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINE'S NEW CHIEF PROSECUTOR RUSLAN RYABOSHAPKA, SAYING: "The key words were not Biden and not Burisma. The key phrase was - the cases closed or reviewed under previous prosecutor's office management. And among these great number of case being investigated there might be those two words, either. We were interested not only in the things you were taking about, but also in a great number of cases in which top officials might be involved, and which made the country suffer serious damages, when the the plants were stolen for instance refineries which we are now attempting to return to the state." MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINE'S NEW CHIEF PROSECUTOR RUSLAN RYABOSHAPKA, SAYING: "None of the foreign and domestic politicians, officials or other people ever called me and tried to influence my decisions on any of particular criminal proceedings." RYABOSHAPKA LEAVING
- Embargoed: 18th October 2019 12:23
- Keywords: Biden Ukraine Ruslan Ryaboshapka Hunter Biden U.S. Vice President Burisma
- Location: KIEV, UKRAINE
- City: KIEV, UKRAINE
- Country: Ukraine
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001AZOMBLZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Ukraine's new top prosecutor said on Friday he was not aware of any evidence of wrongdoing by the son of former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and that he had not been contacted by any foreign lawyers about the case.
U.S. President Donald Trump asked President Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in a July 25 phone call to investigate Biden and his son Hunter, who earned money from a Ukrainian gas company.
That call has triggered an impeachment inquiry into whether Trump sought personal political gain by pushing for a foreign investigation into one of his main political rivals.
"I have no such information," General Prosecutor Ruslan Ryaboshapka told Reuters, when asked whether he had evidence of wrongdoing by Hunter Biden.
Asked if Trump's personal lawyer Rudolph Giuliani had contacted him, Ryaboshapka told reporters at a news conference that no foreigners had been in touch with his office.
Ryaboshapka took office at the end of August and said his office was reviewing criminal cases opened by his predecessor, including some that could relate to the Ukrainian gas company, Burisma.
Trump on Thursday again invited foreign interference in a U.S. presidential election by publicly calling on China to investigate Joe Biden.
The Republican president said he believed both China and Ukraine should look into 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Biden and his son, and described the impeachment probe as "crap".
(Production: Anton Derbenev, Yuri Muravyov)
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