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Human rights ombudsperson calls on US attorney general to transfer jailed pilot to Russia

Yaroshenko was arrested in Liberia in May 2010, and was later clandestinely transferred to the United States

MOSCOW, May 24. /TASS/. Russian Human Rights Ombudsperson Tatyana Moskalkova has sent a letter to US Attorney General William Barr, asking that Russian national Konstantin Yaroshenko, who is serving a 20-year sentence in the in the Danbury prison in Connecticut, be transferred to Russia, the ombudsperson’s office said on Friday.

"For humanitarian reasons alone, I would like to ask you to show goodwill and agree to transfer Yaroshenko to his home country, taking into consideration the long time he has spent in prison and his deteriorating health," the letter reads.

Moskalkova pointed out that "not only the Russian national but the Russian people as well will much appreciate such a humanitarian decision."

Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov earlier said in a letter to Yaroshenko that the US Department of Justice was considering the Russian Justice Ministry’s request for his return home based on the 1983 Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons.

Yaroshenko case

Yaroshenko was arrested in Liberia in May 2010, and was later clandestinely transferred to the United States. In September 2011, he was found guilty of conspiring to smuggle a major cocaine shipment into the US, and sentenced to 20 years behind bars. However, Yaroshenko pleaded not guilty, saying that his arrest was a setup and the case was fabricated.

The Russian was first sent to the Fort Dix Federal Correctional Institution, but in mid-June, 2018, he was first transferred to a transit prison in Brooklyn, New York, and then to the Danbury prison, which holds more than 1,400 inmates.

Russian officials and the pilot’s family have repeatedly requested that Washington transfer him to Russia.