MOSCOW, October 14. /TASS/. The Justice Ministry of Russia has sent a request to the United States on transferring jailed pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko for serving his sentence in his home country, the ministry told TASS on Friday.
"By the letter of the Russian Justice Ministry, the request for transferring Konstantin Yaroshenko to Russia has been sent to Russia’s Foreign Ministry for delivery to the US competent bodies through diplomatic channels," the ministry’s press office told TASS.
"Upon receiving a reply from the US side and the required documents on this issue, they will be considered in compliance with the provisions of the 1983 Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons and the Russian legislation," the ministry said.
In compliance with the convention on the transfer of sentenced persons to their home country, Russia needs to receive a copy of the verdict that must be approved by a Russian court in compliance with the national legislation.
Russian civil aviation pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko was arrested in Liberia in May 2010, after which he was secretly brought into the United States. In April 2011, the jury found Yaroshenko guilty of a criminal plot to transport a large batch of drugs and sentenced him to 20 years in prison.
Yaroshenko fully denies his guilt and considers his arrest as a provocation and his case as fabricated. The Russian pilot is serving his sentence in the Fort Dix prison in the state of New Jersey.
Russia’s Justice Ministry reported on October 11 that it had received a copy of a petition by Yaroshenko’s lawyer Alexei Tarasov on the Russian pilot’s transfer to his home country.
According to Tarasov, Yaroshenko had signed a document at the request of US authorities to confirm his consent to his transfer to Russia from the United States.
Meanwhile, the request from Russia’s Justice Ministry is of special significance, the lawyer said.
"We believe it will be useful to have this request," the lawyer said. "Yaroshenko has signed the paper that he is ready for the transfer but replying to a separately taken prisoner is something quite different than replying to a sovereign state, the Russian Federation," the lawyer said.