Ukraine opens probe into opposition's 'pre-planned' protests
Ukraine's security service on Friday announced a criminal probe into an opposition attempt to seize state power, after information on confiscated computers allegedly revealed the country's mass protests were "pre-planned".
"An investigation for an attempted takeover of power has been opened," Maxime Lenko, head of the investigations department of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency.
The probe comes after investigators examined information stored on computer servers that were seized in December during a raid on the Kiev headquarters of the opposition Batkivschyna party, linked to jailed former premier Yulia Tymoshenko.
Information on the servers showed that the mass anti-government protests that have plunged Ukraine into its worst crisis since independence were "pre-planned", as was "the use of force against protesters... to undermine the authority of the president," Lenko said.
The unrest in Ukraine erupted after President Viktor Yanukovych rejected a key EU deal in November in favour of closer ties with Moscow, bringing hundreds of thousands of pro-EU protesters into the streets.
The protests have at times turned violent and this week led to the resignation of the prime minister and the entire cabinet.
© 2014 AFP