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Yaroshenko’s wife says ombudswoman’s trip to US can help return jailed Russian pilot home

May 22, 19:00 UTC+3 ROSTOV-ON-DON

Russian pilot Yaroshenko was sentenced to 20 years in jail in the US

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Viktoria Yaroshenko

Viktoria Yaroshenko

© Artiom Geodakyan/TASS

ROSTOV-ON-DON, May 22. /TASS/. The wife of pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko serving a 20-year prison term in the United States believes that a trip by Russia’s human rights ombudswoman Tatiana Moskalkova to the United States could help return him to Russia.

In an interview with Izvestia newspaper earlier, Moskalkova said she did not rule out her personal trip to the United States to control the situation with the violation of the rights of Russian citizens convicted in the US.

"This is just remarkable and very good that she supports us. This is the person who does not give up and continues to struggle… I believe that this will help us after all to normalize relations with America. It is quite possible that some shifts [in the Yaroshenko case] will appear and I very much hope for that," Viktoria Yaroshenko told TASS.

Moskalkova earlier said she would apply to the Prosecutor General’s Office of Russia with a request to assist in the transfer of Yaroshenko so that he could serve his sentence in Russia. Moskalkova also expressed the hope that the US authorities would show humanism in the issue of returning Yaroshenko to Russia.

The lawyer of the jailed Russian pilot Alexei Tarasov told TASS on May 5 that he had been unable to get in touch with Yaroshenko for several days. The lawyer also said that Yaroshenko had not made any contact with his wife, although he was expected to do so in late April. At that time, the administration of the US penitentiary did not provide any explanations either to the lawyer or to Russian diplomats.

Yaroshenko’s wife Viktoria later said that the pilot had been put into solitary confinement for 30 days, although he had health problems and in the solitary confinement he could not get the required nutrition.

Moskalkova also earlier applied to the US authorities with a request to explain why the terms of the Russian pilot’s custody had been toughened.

Yaroshenko case

Russian pilot Yaroshenko was sentenced to 20 years in jail in the United States on September 7, 2011. He had been brought to the United States from Liberia after being arrested on May 28, 2010. Agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration operating in disguise allegedly exposed his criminal intentions to transport a large batch of cocaine.

Yaroshenko underwent a surgery last year, but proper post-operation treatment was denied to him.

Russia has numerously requested the United States to release Yaroshenko.

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