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NEW YORK, May 02, /ITAR-TASS/. The administration of the Fort Dix Federal Correctional Institution in the US state of New Jersey, where ailing Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko is serving a long term, pressured him to intimidate him, Yaroshenko’s American lawyer Alexey Tarasov said.
“The Russian called me and said that after four hours in a disciplinary cell where he was being interrogated, he was transferred back to his cell,” Tarasov told Itar-Tass in an interview.
“The pilot is very much alarmed. He had only one minute to talk to me. He just had the time to say that provocations started against him again. The reason for putting him into a disciplinary cell was a complaint by an inmate, he was told during the interrogation,” the lawyer said.
“The prisoner whose name is of course not named allegedly said that Konstantin Yaroshenko was threatening him. This is utter nonsense as the seriously ill Russian is incapable of any aggressive actions. I think the prison authorities are trying again to break him. Yaroshenko refused to say what he was questioned about,” Tarasov said.
According to the lawyer, another stage of psychological pressure on the Russian pilot started. He said it was connected with the appearance of indisputable evidence on the basis of which Yaroshenko should be released and “all charges against him should be dropped”.
In May 2012, the prison authorities already put Yaroshenko into a disciplinary cell. The reason for that then was his interview to Russian press. Talking to the Izvestia daily, the pilot described in detail his confinement conditions and practices used against him in the American prison.
Earlier this year, Tarasov said Yaroshenko’s health “seriously deteriorated as a result of torture and abuse during arrest”, and that that his client had certain problems with his heart, blood pressure and temperature. The pilot’s requests for medical help were apparently ignored by the prison administration.
Yaroshenko was detained by the US authorities in Liberia in 2010 and then 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. Moscow believes charges against him are doubtful.