The head of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation, Alexander Konovalov, believes that Russian citizens Viktor Bout and Konstantin Yaroshenko are illegally in custody in the United States.
“We have recently examined the requests about Russian citizens Yaroshenko and Bout who, we believe, were illegally convicted, at least with departures from the international law and the practice of the U.S. courts,” the Russian Minister said during the St. Petersburg international juridical forum.
The Minister also noted that Bout and Yaroshenko would ask the U.S. again to extradite them to their homeland. However, the requests of the Russians are most likely to be rejected.
Viktor Bout was arrested in Bangkok in 2008 during the American special-forces raid and then extradited to the U.S. where he was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Later, judge Shira Scheindlin who presided at the trial of Bout, stated that the sentence was “too harsh” and “inappropriate“.
The spouse of Viktor Bouthas has repeatedly reported on the appalling conditions in which her husband has been kept.
“He is deprived of free communication with family, as well as with the representatives of the Russian Embassy, with lawyers. He cannot receive any parcels, he is allowed to use only that he has in prison, but almost everything is forbidden,” his wife Alla says.
In 2011, Konstantin Yaroshenko was sentenced to 20 years in prison by the U.S. Supreme court. The Russian pilot was accused of conspiring in delivery of large quantities of drugs into the United States.
During the detention Yaroshenko suffred a serious viral disease. In January 2016, after an unscheduled surgery, his condition deteriorated.
Previously, the Russian Foreign Ministry had previously stressed that it would insist on the extradition of Russian citizens being detained in American prisons. This was stated at a recent press conference by the Commissioner of the Russian Foreign Ministry on issues of human rights, democracy and rule of law, Konstantin Dolgov.
“The situation is very unfavorable, the list continues to grow, and, unfortunately, there are Russians who continue to wait for extradition. We are fighting against this and will continue to do it,” Dolgov said.