Jailed pilot’s first meeting with family in 7 years was emotional, heartfelt — wife
DANBURY /Connecticut/, August 25. /TASS/. Jailed Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko’s wife Viktoria described the family’s first meeting in a US prison after seven years of detention as emotional and heartfelt.
Earlier on Friday, Viktoria Yaroshenko and her daughter Maria met Yaroshenko in the Danbury prison in Connecticut for the first time in seven years. The meeting lasted about eight hours.
“The meeting was very heartfelt. Of course, there was a feeling of joy, but, at the same time, there was some kind of despair,” she told a small group of reporters, including a TASS correspondent, after visiting the Danbury correctional facility in the United States, where her husband is serving a 20-year sentence.
Speaking about her husband, Viktoria said that “his appearance has changed a lot, he has lost weight.” She also said that Yaroshenko “complains about prison conditions,” feels homesick and apathetic.
Viktoria also said that she would keep regularly visiting her husband in prison before her departure.
“We will spend some time together, maybe this would distract him somehow,” she said. “We are talking about our past, maybe will dream about future, but, anyway, this should provide him with some kind of distraction from the prison environment.”
Yaroshenko was arrested in Liberia in May 2010, and was later clandestinely transferred to the United States. In September 2011, he was found guilty of conspiring to smuggle a major cocaine shipment into the US, and sentenced to 20 years behind bars. However, Yaroshenko pleaded not guilty, saying that his arrest was a setup and the case was fabricated.
Until recently, Yaroshenko had been serving out his sentence at the Fort Dix Federal Correctional Institution, but in mid-June he was first transferred to a transit prison in Brooklyn, New York, and then to the current Danbury prison, which holds more than 1,400 inmates.
Russian officials and the pilot’s family have repeatedly requested that Washington transfer him to Russia.