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Russian pilot Yaroshenko gets no medical aid in US jail despite administration’s promises

The prison administration earlier assured Russian diplomats that the pilot had been sent for medical examination

ROSTOV-ON-DON, April 29. /TASS/. Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko who is serving a 20-year jail term in the Danbury prison (Connecticut, US) has not received any medical aid despite last week's assurances of the prison administration to Russian diplomats in the United States, the pilot’s wife Viktoria Yaroshenko told TASS on Wednesday.

In the wake of the deteriorating epidemiological situation caused by the spread of the coronavirus infection, the Russian Consulate General in New York applied to the US Danbury federal prison with an inquiry about Yaroshenko’s health. Russian diplomats informed on the Consulate General’s Twitter account that they had received a reply from the prison’s administration, which said that the Russian pilot had been sent for medical examination.

"No medical assistance has been provided to Konstantin up to now. They have not even taken his temperature," the pilot’s wife said.

Yaroshenko’s lawyer Alexey Tarasov earlier told TASS there was a very high risk that Yaroshenko had contracted the coronavirus. "All symptoms he displays generally correspond to the coronavirus symptoms," the lawyer indicated.

However, the Danbury prison’s administration is in no hurry to send Yaroshenko for medical examination to see whether he is infected with the novel coronavirus, the lawyer added.

The Danbury prison’s administration notified Yaroshenko on April 25 that his early release plea over the coronavirus pandemic was denied.

The pilot’s defense is seeking early release of the Russian national due to the coronavirus pandemic and the fact that he has already served over half of his term. The plea, filed in early April, underscored that Yaroshenko must be released due to life-threatening circumstances that emerged after the pilot was sentenced.

Yaroshenko’s case

Konstantin Yaroshenko was convicted in the United States in September 2011 and sentenced to 20 years in prison. The pilot was clandestinely transferred to the United States from Liberia, where he had been arrested in May 2010. Agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration operating under cover allegedly exposed Yaroshenko’s criminal intention to transport a large batch of cocaine. He pleaded not guilty, condemning his arrest as a provocation and the whole case as a set-up.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov sent a message to US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on March 24, calling for a humane attitude towards Russian nationals in American prisons amid the coronavirus pandemic.