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Moscow set to push for review of case of Russian pilot jailed in US

April 21, 21:46 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Konstantin Yaroshenko has been serving a term on drug smuggling charges in the United States since 2011
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Russian Foreign Ministry building in Moscow

Russian Foreign Ministry building in Moscow

© Gennady Khamiliyanin/TASS Archive

MOSCOW, April 21. /TASS/. Russia will be pushing for a review of the case of pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko serving a term on drug smuggling charges in the United States since 2011, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s commissioner for human rights, democracy and rule of law, Konstantin Dolgov, said Thursday.

Dolgov said the ruling of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York to uphold the sentence to Yaroshenko in a politicized process "causes the deepest regret and bewilderment."

"As we know for certain, the lawyers of the Russian national formed a substantial evidential base testifying to serious violations of the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of Yaroshenko on the part of the U.S. authorities both in Liberia and on American territory," the Russian diplomat said.

"Confirmations have been gathered that he was actually abducted in Liberia by US special services officers, and his testimony was got through torture and other inhuman treatment," he said.

"And up until now, Washington has failed to fulfill its obligations on humane treatment of our compatriot in prison, including by failing to provide medical assistance to him as needed," Dolgov said.

"Gross violations of Yaroshenko’s rights were confirmed during the recent telephone conversation with him on the part of a Russian Foreign Ministry commissioner," he said. "The ruling of the New York court on an lawyers’ appeal confirms our conclusion that ‘the Yaroshenko case’ is a political order, while the actions of American investigators and judicial authorities were unambiguously biased and illegitimate."

"We will keep supporting the efforts of Yaroshenko’s lawyers with the use of opportunities that remain in the American legal system in order to achieve a review of the Russian’s case on newly revealed circumstances and his soonest possible return to the Motherland," the Russian diplomat said.

Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko was sentenced to twenty years in prison on 7 September 2011 in the United States. He was brought there from Liberia, where he was detained on May 28, 2010. Undercover officers of the Drug Enforcement Administration of the US Department of Justice suspected him of alleged criminal intentions to smuggle a large shipment of cocaine. The Russian is serving his sentence at the Fort Dix prison in the state of New Jersey.

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