ROSTOV-ON-DON, June 14. /TASS/. The transfer of jailed Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko from the Fort Dix prison in the state of New Jersey to another US correctional institution may complicate communication with him, Yaroshenko’s wife told TASS on Thursday.
Viktoria Yaroshenko said her husband would not feel safer in another jail.
The press office of the Russian embassy in the United States said on Wednesday that the US authorities had decided to transfer Yaroshenko to another penitentiary facility. He has been currently taken to a temporary detention facility in New York City, the embassy said.
Yaroshenko’s lawyer Alexei Tarasov had earlier demanded that the pilot be removed from a solitary confinement where he had spent over a month despite his stomach issues.
According to Tarasov, Yaroshenko was placed in solitary confinement for security reasons after an attack and his transfer to another jail is also explained by these reasons.
"I don’t think that he will feel any safer anywhere because he is a Russian person who is being mistreated. This issue [a personal encounter of Yaroshenko and his family) was considered while Yaroshenko was in New Jersey… and now they say in the embassy: how you can get there, this is far away," Viktoria Yaroshenko told TASS. "Of course, the transfer will complicate the communication," she said.
Viktoria Yaroshenko earlier said that his husband had requested that he should be kept in the Fort Dix prison instead of being transferred to another penitentiary institution.
Yaroshenko was arrested in Liberia in May 2010, and was later secretly transferred to the United States. In April 2011, a jury found him guilty of conspiracy to smuggle a major drug shipment into the US, and sentenced him to 20 years behind bars. However, Yaroshenko pleaded not guilty, saying his arrest was a provocation and the case was fabricated.
Moscow has many times requested that Washington extradite the pilot to Russia.