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Human rights ombudswoman hopes jailed Russian pilot will be pardoned by Trump

September 01, 2017, 16:31 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko is serving a 20-year prison term in the United States

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Konstantin Yaroshenko

Konstantin Yaroshenko

© Valeriy Matytsin/TASS

MOSCOW, September 1. /TASS/. Russian human rights ombudswoman Tatiana Moskalkova said on Friday she hopes US President Donald Trump will finally pardon Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, who is serving a 20-year prison term in the United States.

Earlier, Moskalkova sent an appeal to the US president asking him to pardon the Russian pilot.

"In objective terms, this issue (of pardoning - TASS) cannot be considered swiftly as this procedure requires a Congress approval. As of yet, this matter has not even been submitted to the Congress, but I hope President Trump will be above politics on such matters and will give priority to humanitarian and moral principles," she said at a meeting with students of the Moscow State University of Law.

Konstantin Yaroshenko was convicted in the United States on September 7, 2011 and sentenced to 20 years in prison. He pled innocence and described his arrest as a provocation. All charges against him were trumped up, he stated.

The pilot had been brought to the United States from Liberia, where he was arrested on May 28, 2010. Agents of the US Drug Enforcement Administration operating under cover allegedly exposed Yaroshenko’s criminal intention to transport a large batch of cocaine.

He is serving the prison term at the Fort Dix federal prison, New Jersey.

Russia has repeatedly requested the United States to release Yaroshenko.

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