MOSCOW, May 16 (RAPSI) – The United States authorities have denied a request filed by Human Rights Commissioner Tatiana Moskalkova seeking to transfer pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko convicted of conspiracy to smuggle cocaine to Russia for serving his sentence, the ombudsman’s press service has told RAPSI.

Earlier, Moskalkova forwarded petitions to the U.S. Prosecutor General’s Office and state bodies supervising American penal system. In her request, the human rights commissioner also described poor health condition of Yaroshenko and asked to grant him medical aid and relevant conditions of confinement.

In April, the ombudsman said that U.S. President Donald Trump refused to pardon the pilot.

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 the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents who claimed they were selling a cargo plane for $1.

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

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.

In May 2016, a U.S. court dismissed his appeal for retrial. Russia’s Foreign Ministry said this is evidence that Yaroshenko’s conviction was politically influenced.