Former United States Vice President Joe Biden (FP)
KIEV – A Ukrainian ex-prosecutor general has told the BBC there is no reason for his country to investigate United States’ President Donald Trump’s political rival Joe Biden.
Yuriy Lutsenko said any investigation into Biden and his son would have to start in the US.
“I don’t know any reason to investigate Joe Biden or Hunter Biden according to Ukrainian law,” he said.
Trump’s efforts to have Ukraine investigate the pair prompted an impeachment inquiry by the Democrats.
A transcript of a call Trump made to Ukraine’s new President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25 shows he urged him to investigate discredited corruption allegations against Biden and his son.
Trump and his allies have been suggesting that Biden, as Barack Obama’s vice-president, encouraged the firing of Ukraine’s top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, because he had been investigating Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma, which employed Hunter Biden.
Hunter Biden became a director at Burisma in 2014, while his father held a key role in US policy towards Ukraine.
Biden is frontrunner to be the Democrat to take on Trump in the November 2020 presidential election.
Speaking to BBC Kiev correspondent Jonah Fisher, Lutsenko – who succeeded Shokin and stood down last month – said there was no plan to open the investigation into Burisma, and that any investigation into Hunter Biden would have to start in the US.
“It is the jurisdiction of the US,” he said, adding that any “possible embezzlement” at Burisma “happened two or three years before Hunter Biden became a member of the board”.
Lutsenko also said he had met Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who asked him if it was possible to investigate the Bidens in his country.
“I told him the same I told you – it is not my jurisdiction,” he said. “It is likely to be the jurisdiction of the US. If you will send me a request, yes, I will give you all official information, but it is not Ukrainian jurisdiction – that was my answer.” (BBC)