MOSCOW, May 6 (RAPSI) – Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, who is serving a 20-year sentence in the U.S. for conspiracy to smuggle cocaine, is not going to continue appealing with American courts, Izvestia newspaper reported on Friday.
According to Yaroshenko’s statement that was published in the newspaper, “I [Yaroshenko –ed.] don’t believe in the integrity and legitimacy of American justice anymore. That’s why I give up on the idea of further litigation and appeals ... Despite exhaustive evidence of my innocence, torture and kidnapping, the court decided to sentence me to 20 years… It is useless to hope that the Supreme Court will make a legitimate decision in my case."
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 United States. 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 said 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 of his rights in the United States.