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Former Ukrainian Lawmaker Under House Arrest On Suspicion Of Murder

Accused lawmaker Tеtyana Chornovol near the State Bureau of Investigations building where she came for questioning in Kyiv on April 14.
Accused lawmaker Tеtyana Chornovol near the State Bureau of Investigations building where she came for questioning in Kyiv on April 14.

KYIV -- A court in Kyiv has placed former lawmaker Tetyana Chornovol under house arrest on suspicion of murder during deadly antigovernment protests known as Euromaidan in February 2014.

The Pechera district court ruled late on April 16 that Chornovol, a member of the European Solidarity party led by former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, will stay under house arrest until June 8.

Police searched Chornovol's home in Kyiv on April 10, and later she was officially informed that she was a suspect in the murder of an employee of the office of the pro-Russia Party of Regions.

The man died after the party's office in downtown Kyiv was set on fire. Investigators say Chornovol led a group of people who set the building on fire, which the former lawmaker rejects.

Poroshenko last week criticized the State Bureau of Investigations (DBR) for launching the probe against Chornovol, a former investigative journalist well-known for her anti-Kremlin stance, calling it "an attempt to rewrite the history under Moscow's orders."

Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov also criticized the DBR for the investigation and called on the DBR's chief Oleksandr Babikov to resign.

Avakov publicly recalled that Babikov used to be a lawyer of Russia-friendly former President Viktor Yanukovych, who led the Party of Regions before winning presidential election in February 2010.

Yanukovych was toppled by the Euromaidan protests in February 2014 and has been residing in Russia ever since.

Weeks after he fled the country in late February 2014, Russia illegally annexed Ukraine’s Black Sea Crimea peninsula and threw support to pro-Moscow separatists in Ukraine's east, where some 13,200 people were killed in the ongoing conflict.

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