MOSCOW, September 16 (RAPSI) – Russia has appealed to a New York court to consider its arguments in favor of Konstantin Yaroshenko, who is serving a 20-year sentence for alleged drug smuggling, RIA Novosti reported on Wednesday.

According to the appeal, “Russia has filed a motion to add an objective opinion of a member of the court in favor of the defendant/appellant.”

This concerns a so-called amicus brief and involves the use of a person not directly engaged in a case who can advise the court on the need to revise a previous ruling.

This document has been added to the appeal and lists the violations in the Yaroshenko case, according to Russia.

In particular, it says that “Yaroshenko has asked for the hearing of arguments, because his appeal concerns very serious issues such as exterritorial extradition and the use of [abusive] interrogation, as well as violations permitted by the [US] government during the pretrial stage.”

Konstantin Yaroshenko was arrested in Liberia on May 28, 2010 and flown to the United States soon afterwards. On September 7, 2011, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison for colluding to smuggle cocaine into the US. He was caught after replying to an advertisement posted by US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents who claimed they were selling a cargo plane for $1. 

He is serving time in the Federal Correctional Institution in Fort Dix, New Jersey. 

In late May, a US court rejected his appeal for a retrial. The Russian Foreign Ministry claims this is evidence that Yaroshenko’s conviction was politically influenced.

It was reported in February 2014 that Yaroshenko experienced strong migraine headaches and heart pain, which could be symptoms of a possible heart attack. Moscow has repeatedly expressed concern over the pilot’s health and pledged to continue working to ensure respect for his rights in the United States.