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DUSHANBE, November 10 (Itar-Tass) — Tajikistan's Prosecutor General Sherkhon Salimzoda voiced new details in the case of the convicted pilots of a Russian airline, Russian citizen Vladimir Sadovnichy and Estonian citizen Alexei Rudenko.
When asked by Itar-Tass about the role the Afghan authorities had played in the aircraft's landing in Kurban-Tyube, the prosecutor general told an urgent news conference on Thursday that "the inquiry on detaining the Russian crews in case of their landing in Kurgan-Tyube came from Afghanistan."
"The aviation services of the airport received information from the Afghans about a possible violation of the Afghan-Tajik air space by two An-72 planes, and the request to detain the crew in case of their landing," Salimzoda underlined.
He added that according to the information of the Afghan authorities, "the pilots worked in Afghanistan for NATO illegally, without certificates, registration or other documents."
The question why the Afghans themselves did not arrest the pilots at the Kabul airport was left unanswered.
Commenting on the verdict, the prosecutor general pointed out that if "the convicted persons disagree with it, they have all legal opportunities to appeal."
"All the six members of the crews, aside from the commanders, which included two Russian citizens, two Ukrainians, one Kazkah and one Belarusian" were exempt from responsibility "given friendly relations and their secondary roles."