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Russian MP asking Tajik counterparts to supervise arrested pilots’ case

November 10, 2011, 23:31 UTC+3
The pilots working for the airline Rolkan were arrested March 12, 2011, after a forced landing in the airport of the city of Kurgan Tube
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MOSCOW, November 10 (Itar-Tass) — Chairman of the State Duma’s foreign policy committee Konstantin Kosachev has asked his counterparts in the parliament of Tajikistan to take under parliamentary supervision the case of two pilots working for a Russian airline, whom a Tajikistani court has sentenced to 10.5 years in jail.

Kosachev said he had sent a letter to Olim Salimzoda, the chairman of international affairs committee at Tajikistan’s Majlis, in which he had voiced concern over the sentence to the pilots -- the Russian citizen Vladimir Sadovnichy and the Estonian citizen Alexei Rudenko.

He asked Salimzoda to take the pilots’ case under parliamentary control and expressed the hope that “an allied relationship, partnership and mutual respect will help our two countries eliminate the aftermath of this incident and attain an early return home of Vladimir Sadovnichy and his colleague.”

The pilots working for the airline Rolkan were arrested March 12, 2011, after a forced landing in the airport of the city of Kurgan Tube.

A Tajikistani court sentenced them to 10.5 years in a high security prison but after an amnesty signed by President Emomali Rakhmon the term was slashed by two years.

Sadovnichy and Rudenko were found guilty of all the three offenses the Tajikistani law enforcement agencies had charged them with initially – an encroachment on the regulations for international flights, an unauthorized border crossing, and contraband.

The Tajikistani government has also confiscated the two Antonov-72 (NATO reporting name Coaler) transport aircraft Sadovnichy and Rudenko had been flying.

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