Ukrainian Lawmaker Faces Arrest on Alleged Coup Plot Charges

Lawmaker Nadiya Savchenko answers lawmakers’ questions during a parliament session in Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, March 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

MOSCOW (AP) — A Ukrainian court is deliberating whether to arrest a celebrated former military pilot accused of plotting an attack on parliament with grenades and automatic weapons.

Nadiya Savchenko was taken into custody on Thursday after the parliament stripped her of her immunity as a lawmaker. Prosecutors have accused Savchenko of plotting a coup in collusion with Russia-backed rebels.

She told the court on Friday that her case was politically motivated and declared a hunger strike.

Savchenko became a national icon in Ukraine after spending years in a Russian prison, but she became a critic of the Ukrainian government, accusing it of failing public hopes.

She says she talked about attacking parliament as a “surrealist political provocation” to mock the government because she knew she was being wiretapped by authorities.

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