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Former Aidar battalion commander detained in Kiev

Sergey Melnichuk is a member of the Ukrainian parliament
Sergey Melnichuk Maxim Nikitin/TASS
Sergey Melnichuk
© Maxim Nikitin/TASS

KIEV, August 9. /TASS/. Kiev’s patrol service has detained Sergey Melnichuk, a member of the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada (parliament), who is suspected of organizing an armed gang, adviser to the Ukrainian interior minister Zoryan Shkiryak said on Sunday.

"Officers of Kiev’s patrol service detained lawmaker Sergey Melnichuk in Kiev! Charges under article 126 of Ukraine’s Criminal Code [beating and torture - TASS]," Shkiryak wrote on his Facebook account.

The Ukrainian interior ministry has provided no comment.

The Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office accuses Malnichuk, the former commander of the notorious Aidar paramilitary battalion, of organizing an armed gang from among his soldiers "to attack enterprises, companies, organizations and individuals, and to commit other crimes aimed at taking other’s properties by force." On June 11, 2015, a Kiev district court released him on bail of 365,000 hryvnias ($17,000).

On June 3, Malnichuk was stripped of lawmaker’s immunity.