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Jailed Russian pilot’s family wants to appeal his verdict in international courts

August 09, 17:40 UTC+3 MOSCOW
"There is little diplomacy here. Tough measures are needed to apply in Strasbourg, in Geneva. There are many structures that would force Barack Obama to stop this," Lyubov Yaroshenko said
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Konstantin Yaroshenko

Konstantin Yaroshenko

© ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, August 9. /TASS/. The family of Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko serving a prison term in the United States has proposed appealing against his verdict in international courts in Strasbourg and Geneva, the pilot’s mother said on Tuesday.

"There is little diplomacy here. Tough measures are needed to apply in Strasbourg, in Geneva. There are many structures that would force Barack Obama to stop this," Lyubov Yaroshenko said.

The jailed Russian pilot’s family believes that the Council of Europe Convention on the transfer of sentenced persons will hardly work in the Yaroshenko case.

"The Justice Ministry has filed [a petition] in accordance with the [Council of Europe] Convention on the transfer of the sentenced person for serving his prison term in Russia but the US authorities do not recognize this convention. They are required to do it on an exchange basis," Yaroshenko’s mother said.

In his address transferred by his family, Yaroshenko also urged to seek the observance of human rights.

"There are at least three fundamental laws, which they [the US authorities] have signed. These are the Vienna Convention, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention against Tortures and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment," Yaroshenko said.

The Russian pilot characterized the process under his case as a political game.

"I’m a small pawn in a big game. In the US totalitarian regime, democracy and human rights do not exist; there is only propaganda," the Russian pilot said.

Russian Foreign Ministry Envoy for Human Rights and the Supremacy of Law Konstantin Dolgov said earlier on Tuesday that Russia did not see the US readiness yet to discuss the international law mechanisms of returning sentenced Russians home but Moscow was ready for a dialog.

The Russian diplomat also said he was bewildered by statements of US State Department representatives to the effect that they knew nothing about the Russian proposal to discuss the possibility of returning home Yaroshenko and Viktor Bout under the 1983 Council of Europe Convention.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov earlier confirmed that Russia was proposing to the United States that Bout and Yaroshenko should return home under the Council of Europe mechanisms.

Russian pilot Yaroshenko was sentenced to 20 years in jail in the United States 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 Administration operating in disguise allegedly 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.

Russian national Bout was detained in 2008 in the capital of Thailand on a warrant issued by a local court on a request from the United States. He was sentenced in 2012 to 25 years in prison in the United States for alleged illegal arms supplies.

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