23:36 GMT08 July 2020
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    Moscow hopes that the new US administration will put an end to the practice of groundless prosecution of Russian citizens, Russian Foreign Ministry Commissioner for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law Konstantin Dolgov said Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Dolgov noted that Moscow expected the team of the next US President Donald Trump to respect the rights of Russian citizens.

    “It is a serious problem, a serious source of major concern in our bilateral relations with the United States. It is a part of that complicated heritage left by [President Barack] Obama to his successors. We really expect that this mess will be cleared up,” Dolgov said at a press briefing at the Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency.

    Two of the most high-profile cases of Russian citizens arrested outside US territory that were later transferred to the United States are the cases of Konstantin Yaroshenko and Viktor Bout.

    Yaroshenko, a Russian pilot sentenced to 20 years in prison for conspiring to import more than $100 million worth of cocaine into the United States, was arrested in Liberia in 2010 and subsequently extradited to the United States. In April, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that arguments made to reverse Yaroshenko’s conviction lacked merit.  In a March letter to Sputnik, the jailed pilot said the court ignored a lot of evidence that proved US prosecutors and drug enforcement authorities had fabricated the case against him.

    Bout was arrested in Bangkok in 2008 in a joint operation between Thai and US authorities, who accused him of conspiring to kill US citizens by allegedly agreeing to supply Colombian militants with weapons. In May, the judge who sentenced Bout said that the verdict in the case was excessive and inappropriate, adding that she handed down the shortest sentence she could possibly give.


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    prosecution, Viktor Bout, Konstantin Yaroshenko, Konstantin Dolgov, Russia
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