23 Jul 2018 21:55

Russian ombudsman asks U.S. ambassador to help her see Yaroshenko, Bout in U.S. prisons, he vows assistance

MOSCOW. July 23 (Interfax) - Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova has asked U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman to help her visit Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko and businessman Viktor Bout convicted to lengthy prison sentences in the United States.

"I asked him to help me visit Konstantin Yaroshenko and Viktor Bout in prison, because Yaroshenko's health status is simply critical, as his wife says," Moskalkova told journalists following a meeting with Huntsman.

Moskalkova said she could not find out where Yaroshenko received threats from and whether he is safe after being transferred to a different prison. "The ambassador said he would try to help resolve this issue," she said.

Moskalkova also said she asked the ambassador to help Yaroshenko's wife to receive permission for conjugal visits to her husband.

Russian pilot Yaroshenko was arrested on charges of preparing to transport a large batch of cocaine in Liberia on May 28, 2010, and then deported to the U.S. On September 7, 2011, a U.S. court sentenced him to imprisonment for 20 years.

Bout was arrested in Thailand in 2008 on a U.S. arrest warrant. He was extradited to the United States in November 2010, and was charged with conspiracy to provide material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization, conspiring to kill Americans, conspiring to kill American officers or employees, and conspiring to acquire and use an anti-aircraft missile.

A jury at a New York court found Bout guilty on all the four counts in November 2011. In particular, he was found guilty of conspiring to sell weapons to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist group, which, according to the prosecution, could have been used to kill U.S. troops.