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Russia says convicted drug trafficking pilot was 'under pressure'

© Photo : Konstantin Yaroshenko's lawyerKonstantin Yaroshenko
Konstantin Yaroshenko - Sputnik International
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U.S. officials exerted "physical and psychological pressure" on a Russian cargo pilot after his arrest in Liberia on drug trafficking charges last year, the Russian foreign ministry said on Friday.

U.S. officials exerted "physical and psychological pressure" on a Russian cargo pilot after his arrest in Liberia on drug trafficking charges last year, the Russian foreign ministry said on Friday.

The New York Federal Court on Thursday convicted Konstantin Yaroshenko of conspiring to smuggle drugs into the United States. A jail term is due on July 28.

"We deem unacceptable the physical and psychological pressure exerted on Yaroshenko after his arrest," Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told reporters on Friday.

"We have repeatedly informed the U.S. side of the unacceptable and unlawful nature of the arrest of this Russian citizen by the agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency in Liberia, who was then transferred, or more precisely, forcefully moved to the United States," he added.

Yaroshenko's lawyer said the 53-year-old could be transferred to Russia to serve out his sentence.

Russia accused the United States of kidnapping Yaroshenko after notification of his arrest was sent to a third country due to a technicality.

MOSCOW, April 29 (RIA Novosti)

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