Russian pilot on trial in Tajikistan on smuggling charges

The Russian Embassy in Dushanbe is closely watching the ongoing trial of a Russian pilot accused of violating customs and flight regulations, an embassy officer said on Friday.

The trial of Vladimir Sadovnichy, as well as Estonian national Alexei Rudenko, both pilots of a Russian airline, started on Wednesday.

According to prosecutors, the two pilots worked for a company delivering humanitarian cargoes to Afghanistan.

In March they illegally crossed the Tajik border from Afghanistan, landing in the city of Kurgan Tyube with what court documents describe as a “contraband aircraft engine” on board.

The pilots have pleaded not guilty.


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