A U.S. judge rejected a motion to drop charges against a Russian pilot who was arrested by U.S. intelligence agents in Liberia on suspicion of drug trafficking, a source familiar with pre-trial hearings told RIA Novosti.
Konstantin Yaroshenko, 41, was detained by U.S. intelligence agencies in late May on charges of trafficking cocaine to South America, Africa and Europe, mainly from Liberia and Venezuela. The Russian Foreign Ministry criticized the detention, saying it was practically a kidnapping and a violation of international law.
During pre-trial hearings into Yaroshenko's case, defense lawyers sought to end the case on the grounds that a U.S. court had no jurisdiction to hear it, the source said on the condition of anonymity.
The Russian pilot's lawyers also said evidence supporting the case was wrongfully obtained and numerous wrongful acts were committed during his arrest and subsequent transportation to the United States.
No official documentation on the case is available so far. RIA Novosti