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Russia opens criminal probe into Russian pilot abduction by US, Liberian special services

April 06, 2015, 12:53 UTC+3
The criminal probe involves 11 employees of the US Drug Enforcement Administration, 4 employees of the Republic of Liberia Security Service, and also against unidentified persons
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Konstantin Yaroshenko

Konstantin Yaroshenko


MOSCOW, April 6. /TASS/. Russia’s Investigative Committee has opened a criminal probe into the abduction of Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko by US and Liberian special services, Senior Assistant to the Head of the Rostov Region Investigative Department Galina Gagalayeva confirmed to TASS on Monday.

"The Russian Investigative Committee’s Investigative Department for the Rostov Region has instituted criminal proceedings against 11 employees of the Drug Enforcement Administration of the US Department of Justice, 4 employees of the Republic of Liberia Security Service, and also against unidentified persons," Gagalayeva said.

"These persons are suspected of committing crimes stipulated by part 2, article 126 of Russia’s Criminal Code (the abduction of a person by a group of people through deliberate conspiracy, using violence threatening the person’s life and health, and associated with the threat of using such violence (part 2, article 302 of Russia’s Criminal Code (coercion of a suspect (accused person) into giving evidence through the use of threats or other illegitimate actions by interrogating persons associated with the use of violence, abuse and torture," she said.

Yaroshenko’s mother earlier reported about a criminal probe opened into her son’s adduction.

According to investigators, Russian national Konstantin Yaroshenko was abducted by the suspects on May 28, 2010 from the parking space of Royal Hotel in the city of Monrovia in the West African country of Liberia under the pretext of his detention for alleged trade in drugs for their subsequent illegal delivery to the United States.

"After his abduction, Yaroshenko was taken to an unidentified place on the territory of the Republic of Liberia where he was illegally held until May 30, 2010 without any consulate or legal assistance, being subjected to insults and tortures for the purpose of extracting confessions from him," Gagalayeva said.

Yaroshenko was subsequently transferred illegally by officers of the Drug Enforcement Administration of the US Department of Justice to New York aboard a plane without compliance with any required legal procedures set both by international norms and the legislation of Liberia regulating the extradition and deportation of a foreign citizen, and also without the obligatory notice of Russia’s diplomatic mission.

The Russian pilot was taken to a local US prison, after which he was put on trial and sentenced to a lengthy term. Yaroshenko is currently serving his sentence on the US territory.

"Investigators are currently questioning members of Yaroshenko’s family, and also persons who rendered him legal assistance during the period of his criminal prosecution by the US law enforcement agencies," Gagalayeva said.

Russian investigators have also sent international-law inquiries to the competent bodies of the US, Liberia and some other states for carrying out a set of investigative measures to establish all the circumstances of the Russian national’s abduction," Gagalayeva said.

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