Ukraine opens probe into alleged attempts to 'seize power'

8th December 2013, Comments 0 comments

Ukraine's security service on Sunday opened a criminal probe into alleged attempts by individual politicians to seize state power, as mass protests against President Viktor Yanukovych raged in Kiev.

An investigation has been opened "into the illegal actions by certain politicians aimed at the seizure of state power," Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) spokeswoman Lada Safonova told AFP.

The politicians were not named but the probe appears to target opposition figures who have repeatedly called on Yanukovych to quit and urged demonstrators to blockade government buildings.

Safonova added that the investigation had been launched under the first article of chapter 109 of the Ukrainian criminal code on actions aimed at violently changing or overthrowing the constitutional order. Those convicted under these charges could be sentenced to up to 10 years in jail.

Earlier, jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko told protesters at Sunday's rally in a message to oust Yanukovych, while protest chief Arseniy Yatsenyuk called on the demonstrators to launch an open-ended blockade of government buildings.

© 2013 AFP

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