Avakov describes search at ex-MP Chornovol's dwelling, suspicions against her as abnormal and shameful
Interior Minister of Ukraine Arsen Avakov has described a search of the dwelling of Member of Parliament of the eighth convocation (2014-2019) Tetiana Chornovol by the State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) on Friday morning and the suspicion notice served to her as abnormal and shameful. The minister said that First Deputy Head of the SBI Oleksandr Babikov should resign.
"Tania was on Maidan, just as thousands of Ukrainians, to participate in civil protests… Mr. Babikov, I also was on Maidan on February 18, 2014 – I am the same as Tania – come to my place, I'm waiting for you. Give it a try. Although you should better go to hell from public service, or come back to [ex-President of Ukraine Viktor] Yanukovych. Stop hindering the president from restoring the state. It's not that easy!" Avakov said on his Facebook page on Friday.
The minister also said that by initiating a case against Chornovol Babikov, who was Yanukovych's lawyer, violated the conflict of interests.
"You spit on the conflict of interests as a head of the SBI and inspired a case against Tetiana Chornovol, who is a personal enemy of Yanukovych. There is no case, there is only your will for revenge. This is unacceptable!" Avakov said.
He also described the situation with Chornovol as abnormal and shameful.
As reported, Babikov worked in the law firm Aver Lex, engaged in the defense of Yanukovych.
On April 10, the SBI searched Chornovol's dwelling, where she lives with two children. Later, the SBI reported that Chornovol was notified of suspicion of having been involved in setting the office of a political part on fire in February 2014, as a result of which a person was killed.
According to preliminary information, on February 18, 2014, the suspect led a group of people and was personally involved in setting the office on fire. As a result, an employee of the party office, born in 1948, was killed, the SBI said.
Chornovol, in turn, said that the suspicion against her was a political persecution of her as an activist of the Revolution of Dignity.
"Did I set the building on fire? Yes, I did… I considered it a tactical step… At that moment we received information about murdered Maidan activists in the Mariyinsky Park… I thought that we should distract the death squads… I think this [the arson] saved many lives. Was I involved in a murder? No, my hands are not covered in blood," she said.