Russia accuses U.S. of "abducting" its citizen

08:33, July 22, 2010      

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Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday called the arrest of a Russian pilot in Liberia by U.S. special agents as an "abduction."

The pilot, Constantin Yaroshenko, was detained on May 28 during a joint ambush of Liberian police and American anti-drug agents, and had been secretly sent to New York, said a statement posted on the ministry website.

Russia was certain that this was a violation of international laws, Vienna convention and bilateral U.S.-Russian convention, said the statement.

"This is, in effect, arbitrariness and the abduction of a Russian citizen in a third country," it said.

Russian Consulate General in New York said it had found a Russian-speaking lawyer for Yaroshenko accused of drug trafficking from South America to the United States.

Under U.S. laws, the accusation may result in a prison term from 10 years to life-time.

Along with 41-year-old Yaroshenko, four more people were arrested in a hotel in Liberia's capital Monrovia and dispatched to the United States, said the RIA Novosti news agency.

According to Yaroshenko's lawyer, his client was "brutally forced" to sign the consent for his extradition to the United States.

The incident followed the biggest spy swap since Cold War between Moscow and Washington earlier this month.

Source: Xinhua


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