07:36 GMT30 July 2021
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    Konstantin Yaroshenko Case (19)

    Jailed Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko has said he refuses to continue contesting a US appeals court ruling to uphold his conviction.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Wednesday, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that arguments made to reverse Yaroshenko’s conviction lacked merit. Following the ruling, Russian Foreign Ministry's Human Rights Ombudsman Konstantin Dolgov said the decision was "nothing but a political put-up job" and that the case was politicized.

    "I don't want to die here, in the US prison. I no longer believe in the integrity and legitimacy of American justice. That is why I refuse to continue litigation, appeals… After the court decides to put me away for 20 years, despite ample evidence of my innocence, torture, kidnapping, no one in the United States will go against themselves. To hope that the Supreme Court will make a lawful decision on my case is useless," Yaroshenko told the Russian Izvestia newspaper.

    The US authorities detained Yaroshenko in Liberia in 2010 after conducting a sting operation across West Africa, and transferred the Russian pilot to the United States where he was sentenced to 20 years in prison by a US court on charges of smuggling cocaine.

    "One had better forget about democracy and human rights here," he added.

    In a March letter to Sputnik, the jailed pilot said the court ignored much evidence proving that US prosecutors and drug enforcement authorities had fabricated the case against him.

    "After Judge Scheindlin's statement it was made clear for the whole world that the cases of Russian convicts in the US are politicized," Yaroshenko said.

    On Monday, US Judge Shira Scheindlin, who sentenced Russian businessman Viktor Bout to imprisonment, said she gave him “the lowest sentence I could possibly give”.

    Konstantin Yaroshenko Case (19)


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    human rights, US Court of Appeals, Shira Scheindlin, Viktor Bout, Konstantin Yaroshenko, US, Russia
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