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Yaroshenko's lawyer: russian pilot serving jail term in US is in critical health condition

Yaroshenko was sentenced by a court in New York on September 7, 2011 after he was found guilty of complicity in a plot to smuggle a major batch of cocaine

NEW YORK, February 14. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, sentenced to a jail term in the United States on charges of attempted drug trafficking, is in a state of preinfarction angina, Yaroshenko’s American lawyer Alexei Tarasov told Itar-Tass on Friday.

“He has severe heart aches and high blood pressure. Despite all the symptoms of heart attack, he will be granted medical aid at the jail only on Monday. Konstantin may fail to live up to that day,” he said.

Yaroshenko contacted his lawyer over the phone to tell him that the jailer had given him only anti-flu pills. He said that the jail had been practically cut off the rest of the world by a snowstorm, so medics would be able to arrive there on Monday at the best.

Earlier on Friday, Russian Foreign Ministry’s ombudsman for human rights Konstantin Dolgov presented a demarche to a minister counselor of the U.S. embassy in Moscow over the deterioration of Yaroshenko’s health.

“The Russian side stressed that the United States authorities bore full responsibility for the life and health of the Russian national,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “We have repeatedly drew attention to acute exacerbation of his chronic diseases, which progressed as a result of tortures he had been subjected to while being arrested in Liberia and because of the lack of proper medical assistance. Regrettably, nothing has been done to improve the situation.”

The American diplomats were notified of Russia’s plans to organize a visit of Yaroshenko in the American jail by Konstantin Dolgov and a group of Russian diplomats from the Russian embassy in Washington and the consulate general in New York, and Russian medics, who would examine the Russian national and prescribe necessary medication. “The Russian side called on the United States authorities not to hinder this mission and, instead, offer all possible assistance,” the ministry said.

“We hope for a quick positive response of the American side, taking into consideration the humanitarian aspect of the current critical situation when a human life is in danger,” the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed.

Yaroshenko was sentenced by a court in New York on September 7, 2011 after he was found guilty of complicity in a plot to smuggle a major batch of cocaine. He was brought to the United States from Liberia, where he was arrested on May 28, 2010. Undercover operatives of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration exposed him of alleged criminal intent. It was the first incident in which American secret services seized a Russian national in a third country and covertly brought him to the U.S.