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Ukrainian Police Probe Alleged Tapping Of Oppositionist's Phone

KHARKIV, Ukraine -- The Prosecutor-General's Office in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv has launched an investigation into the alleged tapping of an opposition politician's telephone, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

Vadym Zhylin, a senior investigator in Kharkiv's prosecutor's office, told RFE/RL the telephone of Arsen Avakov, chairman of the Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party's branch in Kharkiv, is believed to have been tapped.

Zhylin said an investigation was launched in accordance with a violation of "privacy of phone conversations." Such a violation is punishable by up to three years in jail.

Avakov first filed a complaint with the Prosecutor-General's Office in September when he claimed he was being followed by Ukrainian state security service (SBU) agents. SBU officials denied the accusation.

The Batkivshchyna party is led by former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who lost February's presidential election to Viktor Yanukovych.