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US prison refuses to present for independent expertise medical files of Russia’s pilot

March 01, 2014, 11:36 UTC+3 NEW YORK
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NEW YORK, March 01. /ITAR-TASS/. Administration of the U.S. Fort Dix Correctional Institution in New Jersey refused to present medial files of Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, who is serves 20 years for an attempt for drug smuggling.

“Today, we have received back all the correspondence the defence sent earlier, which means that the prison’s authorities try not to allow an independent expertise of the files,” Yaroshenko’s lawyer Alexei Tarasov told Itar-Tass on Friday.

“Earlier, the administration assured us orally they were ready to present the medical files,” he said. “Konstantin Yaroshenko in compliance with the legislation has asked the defence to request the files for further expertise. We have followed all the legal procedures, and the incident is outrageous.”

Tarasov stressed his client still had not received qualified medical assistance. Lately, doctors took his blood for tests and he visited the prison’s dentist. Information on results is not available.

The lawyer stressed among the documents he had received back was Yaroshenko’s written request for emergency medical assistance due to his acute heart failure.

“We were advised to apply to the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Washington,” Tarasov said.

Two weeks earlier, the prison administration denied urgent medical aid to Yaroshenko, 45. His cell block superintendant said Yaroshenko had not told him of any deterioration of his health. When told that the Russian pilot simply could not get up from his cot, the official said if he had managed to call the lawyer, he therefore could go and tell him about his health problems.

In September 2011, a U.S court sentenced Yaroshenko to 20 years in prison for having been allegedly involved in a criminal ring organised for smuggling a large shipment of cocaine. He was detained by the U.S. authorities in Liberia and then taken to the United States. Moscow believes that these charges are doubtful.

Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN) chief Viktor Ivanov said that his Service had asked the U.S. to provide additional information on the case as only “a brief memo” was given to the Russian drug police, notifying them that Yaroshenko was suspected of drug trafficking in the U.S.

Foreign Ministry Commissioner Dolgov said the New York court of appeals’ refusal to review the guilty verdict to Yaroshenko, was “inhuman, illogical and unacceptable”.

The Russian Foreign Ministry constantly monitors the situation concerning Yaroshenko and another Russian citizen Viktor Bout who has also been sentenced to a long prison term in the U.S.

“Not a meeting with our American colleagues at any level, including my regular contacts with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, passes without our raising the question of Bout and Yaroshenko,” Lavrov said.

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