Next Step In Yaroshenko Case May Include Moscow Request Under Transfer Convention - Lawyer

Next Step in Yaroshenko Case May Include Moscow Request Under Transfer Convention - Lawyer

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 20th September, 2021) The next step in the case of Russian national Konstantin Yaroshenko, who is serving a prison sentence in the United States, may include a request by Moscow to transfer him to Russia under the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, Yaroshenko's lawyer Alexey Tarasov told Sputnik on Monday.

"I think the next stage, if something is going to happen, it maybe a request by the Russian government to have Yaroshenko transferred under the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons," Tarasov said after a US Federal court denied Yaroshenko's motion for compassionate release.

Tarasov said the US court's decision has a broader impact because it also undermines an opportunity to effectuate a possible exchange of prisoners between Russia and the United States on humanitarian basis.

"The judge concluded that none of the medical issues that Yaroshenko experiences have been listed by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as causing or likely to cause an increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness," he said.

Tarasov noted that Yarosheko filed the motion at the end of 2020.

"There is not much that we can do at this stage. The decision is to deny and that means that Yaroshenko has no opportunity to return to his homeland based on the risk of COVID-19," he said.

Tarasov also said the US court pointed out in its decision that Yaroshenko's case was one of the largest narcotics operations they have seen.

The lawyer said he spoke with Yaroshenko last week and said he was not feeling well in part because of the uncertainty of what may happen to him in addition to his medical issues.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said after the summit with his US counterpart Joe Biden earlier this year that they raised the issue of prisoner exchange as an area in which compromises could be found between Russia and the United States.

Yaroshenko was arrested in Liberia in 2010 on suspicion of drug trafficking and was later extradited to the United States. In 2011, a US court sentenced Yaroshenko to 20 years in prison for allegedly taking part in a conspiracy to smuggle a large amount of drugs into the United States. Yaroshenko pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.