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ALMATY, November 17 (Itar-Tass) —— President of Tajikistan Emomali Rakhmon has ordered to “settle positively” the situation around a Russian pilot, who was sentenced by a Tajik court to 8.5 years in a tough security penitentiary on smuggling charges.
“Today, after the 61st session of the Council of CIS Defence Ministers, Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov had a bilateral meeting with his Tajik counterpart Sherali Khairulloyev,” Irina Kovalchuk, the press secretary to the minister told journalists on Thursday.
“The Russian minister urged his Tajik counterpart for practical steps to release the sentenced Russian pilot,” she said. “General Khairulloyev, for his part, informed about the order of the Tajik president to settle this issue positively.”
The Kurgan-Tyube City Court sentenced pilots of a Russia airline, Vladimir Sadovnichy of Russia and Alexei Rudenko of Estonia, to 8.5 years in a tough security penitentiary on chanrges of illegal border transgressing and smuggling. The pilots were arrested in Tajikistan in March. They pleaded not guilty and called the verdict absurd.