The FINANCIAL — Ukrainian law enforcement officers have searched the home and office of lawmaker Nadia Savchenko, who is in jail pending trial on charges of plotting a terrorist attack on parliament with grenades and automatic weapons.
Two lawyers for Savchenko, Dmytro Buhay and Oleh Solovey, said that Security Service (SBU) officers conducted the searches on April 10.
Savchenko’s mother, Maria Savchenko, said the officers confiscated a pistol that her daughter received as an award as well as some ammunition for the gun, according to RFE/RL.
SBU spokeswoman Olena Hitlyanska said that the searches were linked to investigations into Savchenko, a former military aviator who spent two years in Russian prison before returning home in a swap connected to the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
A court in Kyiv placed Savchenko under two-month pretrial arrest on March 23, a day after fellow lawmakers voted to strip her of her immunity from prosecution and authorized her arrest.
Savchenko and Volodymyr Ruban are accused of plotting to overthrow the government, carry out a “large-scale terrorist attack” in central Kyiv, and kill senior officials.
Ruban was detained earlier in March while crossing into government-controlled territory in eastern Ukraine, allegedly with large amounts of weapons and ammunition hidden in a shipment of furniture.
Savchenko maintains her innocence and says her arrest was illegal.
Savchenko says she was abducted in 2014 in the eastern Ukrainian area known as the Donbas, where a war that has now killed more than 10,3000 had erupted that April between Kyiv’s forces and Russia-backed separatists.
She spent two years in prison in Russia, defying the Kremlin with a series of hunger strikes, and returned to a hero’s welcome in Kyiv when she was released as part of a prisoner swap in May 2016.
Elected to parliament on an opposition party ticket while still held in Russia, Savchenko became a vehement critic of President Petro Poroshenko’s government after her return.
She has drawn fire from several political camps, facing criticism for holding talks with the separatists without government consent and for comments nationalists said indicated she advocated accepting Moscow’s seizure of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine.
With reporting by bykvu.ua, obozrevatel.ua, and pravda.ua