South Ossetian opposition leader Alla Dzhioyeva, who suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized during police questioning late on Thursday, is suspected of a 2011 coup attempt, the republic’s major case investigator Alan Pliyev said on Friday.
“The Investigation Department of the Prosecutor General’s Office investigates a criminal case against Dzhioyeva, who is suspected of preparing a violent takeover,” Pliyev said without specifying the date when the case was launched.
The announcement runs contrary to an earlier statement by the former Georgian republic’s deputy prosecutor general, Georgy Kabulov, who said that the opposition leader was summoned for questioning as an eyewitness in an attempt to seize the Central Election Commission’s building late last year.
Pliyev also said Dzhioyeva was hospitalized during questioning, not when law enforcers entered her house to try to bring her in for questioning, as it was previously announced.
“During questioning she suddenly felt ill. I personally called the ambulance,” Pliyev said. “Doctors diagnosed her with a heart attack, and she was rushed to hospital. Her condition is stable, according to recent reports.”
Anatoly Bibilov, the Russia-allied region’s emergencies minister, was defeated by Dzhioyeva in a runoff vote in November, but the region’s Supreme Court declared the results invalid and barred Dzhioyeva from the March elections after Bibilov accused her of vote-rigging.
Dzhioyeva, South Ossetia’s former education minister, denounced the ruling and declared herself president. She also announced her inauguration date as February 10 and called on all candidates to ignore the March vote and recognize her as president.
Acting president Vadim Brovtsev, appointed to the post in December after President Eduard Kokoity resigned over opposition protests in Tskhinvali, the republic’s capital, on Thursday accused Dzhioyeva of trying to plot a coup d’etat.