Former hostage negotiator charged with coup conspiracy in Ukraine
On March 15, Head of the Ukrainian "Officer Corps" prisoner exchange center Volodymyr Ruban, who had been detained in Donbas on March 8 on charges of plotting a terrorist act against the country's top officials in Kyiv, was charged with a conspiracy to seize state power.
That's according to prosecutors who spoke as Ruban's defense appealed in the Court of Appeal of Kyiv against the first instance court's ruling to put their client into custody, an UNIAN correspondent reports.
"Ruban has been served with additional charges. He is suspected of conspiracy to commit a violent overthrow of constitutional order and seize state power, and plotting acts aimed at the violent overthrow of constitutional order," the prosecutors said.
Read alsoSavchenko asks to release POW swap organizer Ruban against her guaranteesAs UNIAN reported earlier, Ruban was detained at the Maiorsk checkpoint on the contact line with the so-called "Donetsk People's Republic" in Donetsk region
He reportedly attempted to smuggle from the militant-held territory a huge arsenal of weapons from the militant-occupied areas into the government-controlled territory.
Ruban is being charged with preparing a terrorist attack and illegal possession of weapons. In addition, he is suspected of plotting an assassination of the president of Ukraine and a number of top officials in Kyiv.
Read alsoChief prosecutor says Savchenko plotted terrorist attack on parliamentRuban has denied all charges, claiming he merely acted as a truck driver and knew nothing about the weapons hidden in furniture in the back of the vehicle.
On March 9, 2018, Kyiv's Shevchenkivsky district court chose a preventive measure for Ruban – 60-day imprisonment without bail.