Lawyer asks US court to sentence Russian pilot to ten years in jail

NEW YORK, September 1 (Itar-Tass) —— The lawyer of Konstantin Yaroshenko, a Russian pilot accused of conspiring to smuggle drugs, has asked the court to sentnece his client to ten years in prison.

Despite the fact that Yaroshenko was found guilty of committing a serious crime, a 10-year sentence, taking into account the details of the case, would be sufficient, the lawyer said in a petition sent to the court. He recalls that Yaroshenko was a member of a criminal group for a very short time and he was not the driving force of the conspiracy.

Earlier, prosecutors asked the court to sentence Yaroshenko to 30 years in prison. The prosecution believes that the penalty would be “fair and reasonable.” Sentencing is scheduled for September 7 this year.

A month ago, a 30-year prison term was given to Nigerian Chigbo Peter Umeh, tried together with the Russian pilot on charges of drug smuggling.

Konstantin Yaroshenko was arrested in the capital of Liberia – Monrovia – at the end of May 2010, after which he was secretly taken to the United States. On April 28 this year after a three-week trial the jury found Yaroshenko and Umeh guilty of conspiracy to transport large quantities of drugs, part of which was intended to be sold in the United States. At the same time, other persons involved in the case – Nathaniel French and Kudufia Mawuko – were acquitted.

The 42-year-old Russian pilot is still in an investigation prison in New York.

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