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US court rejects new trial of jailed Russian pilot Yaroshenko

February 25, 2015, 11:27 UTC+3 NEW YORK
On Monday, the Russian side filed a motion with a court to consider its argument in favor of a new trial in the Yaroshenko case
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Konstantin Yaroshenko

Konstantin Yaroshenko

© ITAR-TASS

NEW YORK, February 25. /TASS/. Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, who is serving a 20-year prison term in the United States on charges of attempted drug smuggling, regrets the decision of a New York court not to accept Moscow’s arguments in favor of launching a new trial of the case, his lawyer Alexei Tarasov told TASS.

"Of course, we are disappointed with this decision and Konstantin himself is also disappointed with it," Tarasov said.

"We would welcome Russia’s advocacy, as a sovereign state, in defence of Yaroshenko’s interests. Unfortunately, the judge took another decision," Tarasov said.

"We have neither a wish nor powers to appeal against this decision," he said.

On Monday, the Russian side filed a motion with a court to consider its argument in favor of a new trial in the Yaroshenko case. The argument, called amicus curiae brief in the US, includes an expert review by a third party that is not involved in the case.

"Such practice has a long tradition in the US, usually, such a document is filed by countries, individual states, industrial associations and sometimes famous academicians," Tarasov said.

"For Russia, filing a friendly argument is a relatively new mechanism. That’s why this was a unique and a rare step that in the Yaroshenko case Russia decided to act in his defence," he said.

However, the court rejected this initiative.

Yaroshenko was detained by the US authorities in Liberia in May 2010 and then secretly taken to the United States. In September 2011, a US court sentenced him to 20 years in prison for having been allegedly involved in a criminal ring organized for smuggling a large shipment of cocaine. Yaroshenko denied the accusations.

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