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Pilot Yaroshenko says criminal case against those involved in his kidnapping reopened

Konstantin Yaroshenko said that his example should be used to show that Russian laws were aimed at protecting Russian citizens

MOSCOW, August 15. /TASS/. Russia's Investigative Committee has reopened the criminal case against 22 US citizens, Liberians and companies involved in the kidnapping of pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, he told TASS on Monday.

"I received a call from the Rostov's branch of the Investigative Committee and was told that the case has been renewed. It is a case against 22 US and Liberian citizens as well as companies involved in my kidnapping, torture and violation of a number of international laws and conventions, including the laws of the Russian Federation, the US, Ukraine and Liberia," Yaroshenko said. He added that while in Rostov-on-Don, he testified in the case.

Yaroshenko noted that he does not understand why the case against his captors has not yet been sent to court. "I understand that it will be difficult to bring American secret service agents to Russia, but at least let a Russian court find them guilty in absentia on the basis of irrefutable facts of violation of Russian laws by the Americans. I believe that my example should be used to show that our laws protect Russian citizens. I was told that this is impossible to do, because at least one suspect must be brought to Russia and some procedures must be carried out. The US authorities do whatever they want with the Russians, regardless of any laws. And in our country, those involved in serious crimes cannot be put on the international wanted list," the Russian said.

Yaroshenko added he would like to discuss the case of those involved in his kidnapping with the leadership of the Russian Investigative Committee, as well as the improvement of Russian law with representatives of Russian lawmakers. "It is necessary to show publicly that they (those involved in the kidnapping - TASS) will be convicted according to the laws of the Russian Federation. After that, it will be easier for me to file other lawsuits in international courts for violations of fundamental international laws, including against the US government and Liberia," the interlocutor said.

Russian Foreign Ministry reported the exchange of Konstantin Yaroshenko for US citizen Trevor Reed on April 27. The Russian was arrested on May 28, 2010 in Liberia. US Drug Enforcement Administration officers allegedly caught the pilot in the criminal intent of transporting a large shipment of cocaine. He was later smuggled to the United States, where he was sentenced to 20 years in prison on September 7, 2011. Yaroshenko pleaded not guilty and condemned his arrest as a set-up and insisted that he was framed.