14:34 GMT31 October 2020
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    The former prosecutor-general lost his position in 2016 in what he described as a result of outside pressure on the Ukrainian government. Two years later, Joe Biden publicly admitted that he had urged President Poroshenko to fire the official.

    Ukrainian investigators have interrogated former Prosecutor-General Viktor Shokin as part of an investigation into former US Vice President Joe Biden's purported meddling in his work, leading to Shokin's termination from the post, the Ukrainian News media outlet reported, citing an anonymous source.

    The source said the interrogation took place on 21 September, but did not disclose any further details on the questioning.

    General Prosecutor of Ukraine Viktor Shokin
    © AP Photo / Sergei Chuzavkov
    General Prosecutor of Ukraine Viktor Shokin

    Biden's Alleged Role in Shokin's Dismissal

    Shokin occupied the post of prosecutor-general between February 2015 and April 2016 before his dismissal, which he claimed was unlawful and done "under outside pressure". He filed a suit in the State Bureau of Investigations to open a criminal case against then US Vice President Joe Biden.

    Biden, who is currently running for the US presidency, told the US Council on Foreign Relations in 2018 that he had urged then-President Petro Poroshenko to fire Shokin, using a $1 bln loan to Ukraine as an ultimatum.

    In May 2020, a court in Kiev ordered to initiate a pre-trial investigation into the case.

    The standoff between Shokin and Biden comes amid a corruption probe into the Democrat candidate's son Hunter, who was on the board of directors of the Burisma gas company when his father was in charge of Ukrainian affairs in the Obama administration. However, after Shokin's dismissal, the investigation procedures into the case were either dropped or transferred to the National Anti-Corruption Bureau. A Ukrainian prosecutor, Konstantin Kulik, said in June that Hunter Biden's firms were no longer part of the probe.

    Burisma's case was instrumental in President Trump's impeachment proceedings last year as the Democratic Party, which initiated the probe, said Trump had pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to renew the criminal case against Burisma, or Washington would withdraw military aid to Kiev. However, Trump was fully acquitted in February on both charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

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