US-jailed Russian pilot Yaroshenko’s defense hopes for case review, extradition | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

19 December, Wednesday


US-jailed Russian pilot Yaroshenko’s defense hopes for case review, extradition

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The defense team of Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, who is serving a 20-year prison sentence in a US jail, expects that his case will be reviewed in 2019 and he will be extradited to Russia, attorney Alexey Tarasov has told TASS.

"I think that there are certain prospects for Yaroshenko’s transfer [to Russia] in April 2019. I still hope that a bid to repatriate Konstantin under the Council of Europe’s Convention [on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, to which the United States is a party] will be considered with a positive result. This will take place no earlier than in April 2019. [The bid is to be submitted] either by the prisoner himself or his country, and it is yet to be filed," he said.

Tarasov reiterated that a request regarding Yaroshenko’s case was also submitted to the UN Committee Against Torture of the UN Human Rights Council.

"I hope that those mechanisms would also work. However, the United States quitted the Human Rights Council, therefore, any decision that can be made within the framework of those structures will not be binding for the US, it will be of recomendational nature at best," the attorney said.

Besides, Tarasov said the defense team is currently trying to settle the issue of returning the Russian pilot’s personal items, lost during his detention.

"We hope that after an internal check, the items that we had requested to return to Konstantin, will be handed over to him. I hope that this issue will be settled during our talks with federal prosecutors," he said.

According to the attorney, the recent visit of Yaroshenko’s family to his prison in the United States "had a positive effect on Konstantin, he was very glad."

Yaroshenko's case

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 frame-up. 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.

Until recently, Yaroshenko had been serving out his sentence at the Fort Dix Federal Correctional Institution (New Jersey), but in mid-June, he was first transferred to a transit prison in Brooklyn, New York, and then to the current Danbury prison, which holds more than 1,400 inmates.

The Russian authorities and the pilot’s family in Rostov-on-Don have repeatedly asked the United States for Yaroshenko’s handover to Russia.

Viktoria Yaroshenko and her daughter Yekaterina flew to the United States in August for a meeting with their husband and father. They visited Yaroshenko in prison in Danbury, Connecticut twelve times. His first meeting with wife and daughter in seven years took place on August 24 and lasted for about eight hours. On September 11, the pilot’s family returned to Russia.

According to Viktoria Yaroshenko, the pilot’s health is declining, and he does not receive the appropriate medical care. The pilot suffers from dental and stomach problems.



 

 

TASS

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