16:53 GMT20 January 2021
Listen Live
    US
    Get short URL
    5132
    Subscribe

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The legal defence team for Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, who is currently jailed at the Danbury correctional facility in Connecticut, has filed a motion for compassionate release on health grounds, Yaroshenko's lawyer Alexey Tarasov told Sputnik.

    "We filed a motion for the compassionate release of Konstantin Yaroshenko. The motion was filed with the US District Court for the Southern District of New York", Tarasov said on Friday, adding that the US government would respond to the request by 29 December.

    According to Tarasov, a hearing has been scheduled with the court and the defence team will wait to hear the government's response.

    The defence will have to provide its response by 4 January 2021, he noted, adding that there are no specific dates for the court's final consideration.

    Rally in support of Konstantin Yaroshenko
    © Sputnik / Alexander Vilf
    Rally in support of Konstantin Yaroshenko

    Yaroshenko suffers from several health issues, such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and arthritis, which US health authorities have linked to severe illness should the individual contract COVID-19, Tarasov added.

    "Konstantin is taking medications for each of these conditions", he said.

    From 30 to 50 percent of people infected with the coronavirus disease have experienced problems with hypertension and hyperlipidemia, the lawyer stated.

    "Specifically, in Konstantin's case, there is an increased presence of so-called bad cholesterol in his blood, and that makes the possibility of COVID-19 infection more problematic", he warned, adding that medication used to treat arthritis suppresses the immune system.

    Tarasov explained that the prison in Danbury also appears to be experiencing a second wave of the disease.

    "On 3 December the inmates were given notice from the warden's office that there were seven cases of COVID-19. As of 16 December, there were 97 cases, so the COVID-19 cases multiplied exponentially", he said.

    The lawyer added that the prison had problems with COVID-19 this past spring when the US Attorney General issued a memorandum for home release for some inmates with underlying health issues.

    "When this initial outbreak subsided, there was hope that perhaps the virus would not return to the facility, but what we have seen is that the coronavirus cases have come back", Tarasov said.
    Konstantin Yaroshenko
    © Photo : Youtube/ RT
    Konstantin Yaroshenko

    Tarasov also noted that Yaroshenko's living space consists of a bunk bed shared with another inmate, placed only 46 inches away from the next set of bunk beds.

    "Even more problematic is that the head of his bed is only 18 inches away from the bunk that lies immediately behind Yaroshenko, where two other inmates live", the lawyer noted.

    Tarasov referred to one inmate, whose bed was right next to Yaroshenko's bunk, having died from COVID-19 in April.

    "Based on all of these factors, as well as based on the fact that Yaroshenko by this time would have served approximately 62 percent of his sentence, we ask that the court release Yaroshenko and allow him to leave the US", the lawyer said.

     

    Yaroshenko was arrested in Liberia in May 2010 on suspicion of drug trafficking. A year later, he was extradited to the United States and sentenced to 20 years in prison for allegedly taking part in a conspiracy to smuggle a large amount of drugs into the country. He has denied all the charges.

    Tags:
    Russia, US, prison, prison, prison, prison, prison, Prison, Konstantin Yaroshenko
    Community standardsDiscussion