Ukraine leader defends himself in offshore account leaks

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

TOKYO (AP) — The president of Ukraine has defended himself in the massive leak of records on offshore accounts that has named political officials, business and celebrities from around the world.

Petro Poroshenko said at a news conference in Tokyo on Wednesday that an offshore holding company set up for his candy business was a necessary step to put his assets into a blind trust when he became president in 2014.

The leaks have raised suspicion that such offshore entities were set up to avoid taxes. Iceland's prime minister resigned as the scandal deepened on Tuesday.

Poroshenko insisted that his case is different than Iceland's or Russia's, and that the company was not set up to minimize taxes.

He is in Japan this week to meet the Japanese prime minister and business leaders.