In the Ukrainian capital Kiev Saturday, thousands of people protested against President Leonid Kuchma, accusing him of corruption and calling for him to resign.

The protesters thronged through the streets of downtown Kiev chanting and waving banners. It was the latest action aimed at trying to force President Kuchma from power.

The protest culminated with the staging of a mock trial of the 64-year-old president.

Police made no effort to intervene in the protest, despite a court ban issued Friday.

The latest protest comes amid allegations that Mr. Kuchma approved the sale of an early warning system to Iraq.

The U.S. State Department says it has audio tape of President Kuchman from July 2000, in which the president is heard authorizing the sale of radars to Iraq. The Bush administration subsequently suspended U.S. aid to Ukraine and announced a review of the two countries' relationship.

Mr. Kuchma denies all of the charges.

U.S. officials are due to begin investigating the alleged sale of the Kolchuga radar system this week. Ukraine agreed to the joint investigation earlier this month.