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Moscow seeks return of Russian citizen jailed on drug smuggling charges in US — diplomat

March 31, 9:35 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russian pilot Yaroshenko was sentenced to 20 years in jail after US DEA operating in disguise in Liberia exposed his criminal intentions to transport a large batch of cocaine
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©  EPA/SHAWN THEW

MOSCOW, March 30./TASS/. The US keeps rudely violating the rights of Russian national Konstantin Yaroshenko, who was extradited to the US from Liberia after being arrested in 2010, and the Russian Foreign Ministry will seek his return to Russia, a commentary of Russian Foreign Ministry’s ombudsman said on Wednesday.

"In a detailed enquiry of Konstantin Yaroshenko, numerous facts were confirmed of rude violation of his rights, freedoms and legitimate interests first in Liberia and then in the US, from the point of view of US law, as well as and, mainly, of international law," ministry’s commissioner for human rights, democracy and rule of law Konstantin Dolgov said after a telephone conversation with Yaroshenko.

"Among them, in particular, is Yaroshenko’s abduction by American agents in Liberia, tortures and inhumane treatment that had grave consequences for his health demanding constant qualified medical surveillance and treatment, which is still denied to the Russian national," said the commentary posted on the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

"We will hand over relevant information to US official representatives, once again urging them to ensure rights and legitimate interests of Yaroshenko, and on the whole put an end to an illegal practice of extraterritorial application of American law and arrests of Russian nationals at the request of Washington on the territory of third countries, which is at variance with rules of international law," it said.

In a newspaper interview on March 24, the ombudsman said the practice of arrests of Russian nationals abroad on the basis of extraterritorial application of American law causes major damage to bilateral relations.

"Washington continues the practice of extraterritorial application of American law towards Russian nationals - without proving the charges against them, in bypassing the 1999 Russian-US treaty on mutual legal assistance in criminal cases," said Konstantin Dolgov.

"This does additional major damage to Russian-American relations that are already going through hard times," he said.

Russian pilot Yaroshenko was sentenced to 20 years in jail on September 7, 2011. He had been brought to the United States from Liberia after being arrested on May 28, 2010. Agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administraiton operating in disguise exposed his criminal intentions to transport a large batch of cocaine.

Yaroshenko underwent a surgery in January, but proper post-operation treatment was denied to him.

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