DUSHANBE, March 29 (Itar-Tass) —— Tajik lawyer Gulom Boboyev believes the case of Vladimir Sadovnichy and Alexei Rudenko is not lost, and he is ready to appeal to the international court to prove they are not guilty.
The lawyer who defends them said this to Itar-Tass on Thursday, commenting on the official decision of judge Shamsiddin Temurov of the Khatlon court that left the supervising appeal unsatisfied.
Boboyev said he would file a new appeal addressed to the Khatlon regional court chairman. In case of refusal, he would appeal to the courts of all the levels, from Tajikistan's Supreme Court to the international court, to completely prove the defendants are not guilty. "We will have enough time and patience to achieve the triumph of justice," Boboyev assured.
The captains of An-72 crews, Russian Vladimir Sadovnichy and Estonian citizen Alexei Rudenko, who worked under contract in Afghanistan, were detained by Tajik security services after the landing at the airport of the city of Kurgan-Tyube in March last year. Charges of violation of the international flight regulations, illegal border crossing and smuggling were brought against them in May.
On November 8, the court of Kurgan-Tyube sentenced the two pilots to eight years and six months in prison. However, in two weeks, the Khatlon regional court reduced the sentence to two years and six months, and with amnesty and the term they had already served taken into consideration, they were released right from the court room.
The pilots themselves and their attorneys objected to the sentence, insisting they were not guilty at all and expecting the conviction to be cancelled. They noted no guilt of theirs was proved either by the investigation or the court.