Ukraine's Rada committee recognizes prosecutor general's motion for Savchenko arrest as substantiated
The Verkhovna Rada regulations committee has found the prosecutor general's recommendation to the parliament to consent to the prosecution, detention, and arrest of independent parliamentarian Nadiia Savchenko to be legal, sufficient, and substantiated.
The committee made its decision at a meeting on Thursday morning and sent it to the parliament session hall to be considered, an Interfax correspondent reported.
Committee member Volodymyr Areshonkov from the Petro Poroshenko Bloc faction said the prosecutor general is expected to publish video evidence of the accusations against Savchenko at the Rada plenary session.
"I will promptly raise the issue of immunity removal as soon as the results of the regulations committee decision are handed out," Rada speaker Andriy Parubiy said while opening the parliamentary session on Thursday morning.
The head of the Officer Corps' prisoner release center, Volodymyr Ruban, was detained at a Donbas checkpoint on March 8 while trying to smuggle an arsenal of weapons into the part of Ukraine not controlled by Kyiv. According to the text of a suspicion document, Ruban is suspected of having committed the criminal offenses of "plotting an act of terrorism," "possession, storage, acquisition, manufacture, repair, transfer, or disposal of a firearm (except a smoothbore hunting rifle), ammunition, explosive substances or explosive devices without the permission required by the law."
On March 9, the Shevchenskivsky District Court in Kyiv ordered Ruban's arrest for two months.
Savchenko was summoned to the Ukrainian Security Service for questioning as part of the Ruban inquiry.
On March 15, Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko told the Rada that investigators had irrefutable evidence that Savchenko was planning terror attacks - explosions in the parliamentary session hall. Earlier in the day, a number of Ukrainian media outlets reported sources as saying that Savchenko had carried ammunition into the session room. She was talking to colleagues in the hallways of the parliament. When asked on the television channel Newsone later in the day whether she had carried a gun into the session hall, Savchenko said that many parliamentarians carry weapons received as a state award to work.
According to two March 15 resolutions of the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office seeking the Rada's consent for prosecution and detention of Savchenko , a pretrial investigation established that Savchenko committed a series of grave and especially grave crimes violating the principles of national security and public security starting in November 2017.
The motions state that Savchenko met in unclear circumstances with Ruban, who knew the leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, Alexander Zakharchenko and Alexander Timofeev.
"As a radical personality, dissatisfied with the socio-economic situation in Ukraine and the actions of the heads of bodies of central government, with clear disrespect for the Ukrainian president, the Verkhovna Rada, and the government of Ukraine, sharing the views of the leaders of the DPR regarding the forcible overthrow of the constitutional system and seizure of state power in Ukraine [...] at an unidentified time, but no later than November 20, 2017, in an unidentified place, Savchenko plotted with Ruban, Zakharchenko, Timofeev, and other unidentified persons [...] to commit actions aimed at the forcible overthrow of the constitutional system and the seizure of state power in Ukraine," the documents said.
The accomplices decided to commit a terror attack and try to kill state and public figures, making a detailed plan to this end, they said.
According to the documents, the attack would have involved the use of weapons, explosives, and other elements that pose a danger to life and health with the aim of intimidating the population.
"[It was planned] to open fire on buildings in the Kyiv government quarter when the Ukrainian president, parliamentarians, the prime minister, state and public figures are present in the Verkhovna Rada using mortars, grenade launchers, and firearms [...] Simultaneously, to use grenades to cause explosions inside the building of the Verkhovna Rada, and to use firearms and explosive devices to kill the above-mentioned political officials present at the Verkhovna Rada session, as well as to kill law enforcement officers taking actions to stop the terrorist attack," the documents said.
According to law enforcement agencies, the plotters planned to carry out an armed seizure of the parliament building at night, "thus impeding the work of the Verkhovna Rada."
"At the same time, to use mortars, grenade launchers, firearms, and explosive devices to carry out armed attacks on the housing and road vehicles of political officials and leaders of political parties, in particular Petro Poroshenko, Arsen Avakov, Oleksandr Turchynov, and others, with the aim of unlawfully killing them," the documents said.