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Russia’s human rights chief asks justice ministry to request handover of jailed pilot

The Russian Justice Ministry has addressed the US several times with a request to extradite Yaroshenko

VLADIVOSTOK, September 11. /TASS/. Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova has asked Russia’s Ministry of Justice to request the extradition of Konstantin Yaroshenko to Russia, the pilot currently serving a prison sentence in the US, due to his declining health, she told reporters on Wednesday.

“His (Yaroshenko’s) health has declined, and because of this, I have addressed the [Federal] Bureau of Prisons with a request to provide him with necessary medical assistance. I have also asked our Ministry of Justice to request Yaroshenko's extradition, so that he can serve out the remainder of his sentence in Russia. As far as I know, they have a positive attitude on this matter. We just have to determine the legal instruments that will be used to resolve this issue,” she said.

The Russian Justice Ministry has addressed the US several times with a request to extradite Yaroshenko. It was reported in May that the US Department of Justice is considering an appeal sent by the Russian side.

Earlier, Yaroshenko’s wife Viktoria informed TASS that her husband had to treat his arthritis with folk methods, for example, using bees. According to her, such treatment did not produce any results, and Yaroshenko decided to end it. On September 4, Viktoria Yaroshenko told TASS that her husband had not had a medical check-up that he requested over 6 weeks ago. She added that employees of the US correctional facility continue to ignore the requests made by the pilot and Russian diplomats. Konstantin Yaroshenko was convicted in the United States on September 7, 2011 and sentenced to 20 years in prison. He pled not guilty and described his arrest as a provocation and the whole case as a setup. Yaroshenko was brought to the United States from Liberia, where he was arrested on May 28, 2010. Agents of the US Drug Enforcement Administration allegedly exposed Yaroshenko’s criminal intent to transport a large batch of cocaine. The Russian authorities and the pilot’s family in Rostov-on-Don have repeatedly asked the United States for Yaroshenko’s handover to Russia.