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Russia has grounds to seek extradition of jailed pilot Yaroshenko via UN — attorney

August 16, 2017, 7:29 UTC+3 NEW YORK

The Russian pilot is jailed in US after being arrested in Liberia by US law enforcers

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NEW YORK, August 16. /TASS/. International law precedents enable Russia to turn to the UN Security Council in an attempt to return Konstantin Yaroshenko, a Russian pilot jailed in US after being arrested in Liberia by US law enforcers, his attorney has told TASS.

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. Russia has numerously requested the United States to release Yaroshenko.

"[Russian] human rights ombudsman expressed intention to bring Yaroshenko’s case before the United Nations. We welcome this move," the pilot’s US attorney Alexei Tarasov said. "In fact, there have been a number of historic precedents for such a format."

He cited the example of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, one of the major organizers of the Holocaust, who was abducted from Argentina by Israeli security officers. He later stood trial and was executed in Israel in 1962.

"Argentina raised the issue of reparations from the State of Israel for abducting this person. As a result, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution, ordering Israel to pay the requested sum to Argentina. In this respect, it would be absolutely legitimate to raise the issue of inadmissibility of abducting citizens within the framework of the UN Security Council," he said.

The attorney sees no problem in applying this precedent for the release of the Russian citizen, saying that Yaroshenko’s case was a matter of the international law.

"It is centered around the question of whether or not special services of one country have the authority to act in another country in order to abduct a citizen [of a third state]," he said.

"Naturally, the UN Security Council can vote on any initiative, and the United States, like Russia, has the veto power. It is not known whether such an initiative will succeed, who will vote in favor and who will be against, but, in any case, there is a precedent," Tarasov added.

Russian officials, Yaroshenko’s family and the pilot himself have repeatedly requested the US authorities to let Yaroshenko return to his home country.

Russian human rights ombudswoman Tatyana Moskalkova said in early July that the Russian citizen, who committed no crimes on the US territory, is being held in severe conditions. According to the official, he was denied long-term meetings with relatives and does not receive sufficient nutrients to stay healthy.

Moskalkova said she had requested the US president to pardon Yaroshenko.

On July 5, Russia’s Izvestia daily wrote citing Yaroshenko that he had requested the US president to let him return to Russia. The letter was handed over to the White House by the Russian Embassy in Washington.

A similar request was sent to US President Donald Trump by Yaroshenko’s wife and daughter.

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