03:11 GMT29 October 2020
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    Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko imprisoned in the United States called Moscow’s possible petition to the United Nations his last chance to return to Russia.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On July 21, Russia's Commissioner for Human Rights Tatyana Moskalkova said that she would appeal to US President Donald Trump to pardon Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, imprisoned in the United States, and bring the issue to the United Nations in case he is not released.

    "After so many efforts to return me to my home country, the only mechanism I can hope for is Russia’s official petition to the United Nations. It is my last chance to return to my family. Commissioner for Human Rights Tatyana Moskalkova has discussed this option with my wife Viktoria … After my mother died, I have lost hope, but Ms. Moskalkova’s promise has brought me back to life," Yaroshenko said in an interview with the Russian Izvestiya newspaper published on Wednesday.

    Yaroshenko’s wife also told the publication that only the United Nations was "able to get Konstantin out of prison."

    The human right commissioner’s press service told Sputnik that Moskalkova’s address at the United Nations during which she would raise the issue of Yaroshenko could take place in November. However, the trip has not been confirmed yet by the US authorities, the press service noted.

    Moskalkova has already appealed to Trump to pardon Yaroshenko in May. On July 7, Yaroshenko himself wrote a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin asking him to discuss his extradition at a meeting with Trump. The pilot also had written a letter to Trump, in which he pleaded with the President to transfer him to Russia, while his family had appealed to the US leader for his pardon.

    Yaroshenko was given 20 years in prison in 2011 on allegations of conspiring to import more than $100 million worth of cocaine into the United States. He was captured in Liberia in 2010 and extradited to the United States, prompting protests from Russia. In April 2016, the Appeals Court of New York denied revising the pilot's sentence.

    In a March letter to Sputnik, Yaroshenko said the US court ignored a lot of evidence that proved prosecutors and drug enforcement authorities had fabricated the case against him.


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    return, imprisonment, appeal, United Nations, Konstantin Yaroshenko, US, Russia
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