SBU conducts searches at Medvedchuk's offices
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) is conducting searches at the offices of the All-Ukrainian civil movement Ukrainian Choice - Right of People, which leader is Viktor Medvedchuk, a law enforcement source has told Interfax-Ukraine.
"Investigative actions are taking place in Kyiv and Dnipro," the agency's interlocutor said, stressing that during the occupation of Crimea, the movement's central office coordinated the actions of Crimean cells, whose representatives actively promoted the entry of the peninsula into the Russian Federation.
Viktor Medvedchuk is a MP, a member of the Opposition Platform - For Life faction.
Later, a message appeared on the SBU website that investigators of the security service "continue a pretrial investigation into the actions of representatives of the public organization Ukrainian Choice, who are reasonably suspected of assisting the illegal referendum and elections in the temporarily annexed Crimea and Sevastopol in 2014."
"It has been established that the members of the All-Ukrainian civil movement Ukrainian Choice during the annexation of the peninsula and in the future actively supported the occupation authorities. They became representatives of illegal election commissions and precincts, and participated in the activities of the illegal armed formation Crimean self-defense. Members of illegal armed groups carried out illegal persecution of Ukrainian activists, and seizure of administrative buildings of Ukrainian authorities," the message said.
According to the security service, during the pretrial investigation, the SBU investigators received irrefutable evidence that the leadership and representatives of the public organization participated in the organization and conduct of an illegal referendum and illegal elections in the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol after the temporary annexation of the Russian peninsula. According to the preliminary version of the investigation, they are also involved in the commission of other criminal acts.
The SBU also noted that the organizers of the Ukrainian Choice imitated the liquidation of 210 Crimean cells, however, no documents were submitted to the Ministry of Justice, and the organization itself "continued to carry out activities in Crimea to the detriment of Ukraine's state security" until 2017, when the termination of its activities on the peninsula was executed in accordance with the current Ukrainian legislation.
"According to the investigation, these facts may indicate the creation of an imaginary non-involvement of the leadership of the All-Ukrainian civil movement Ukrainian Choice - Right of People in the illegal activities of its cells on the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea," the SBU said.
SBU investigators are conducting investigative actions within the framework of the initiated criminal proceedings under Article 366 (official forgery) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. The issue of informing the participants about suspicions under Article 110 (encroachment on the territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine) and Article 111 (high treason) of the Criminal Code is being addressed. The pretrial investigation continues.
The exposure was carried out under the procedural guidance of the Prosecutor's Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.