Voices from Russia

Monday, 17 February 2014

Dolgov Presents Démarche to USA Over Deterioration of Prisoner’s Health

00 Behind Bars. 17.02.14

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On Friday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MID) said that Konstantin Dolgov, MID Commissioner for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law, presented a formal démarche to a minister-counsellor of the American embassy, who the MID summoned to the ministry in Moscow on Friday, over significant deterioration in the health of Russian citizen Konstantin Yaroshenko, who is serving a lengthy prison term at Federal Correctional Institution Fort Dix. The MID said, “We emphasised, on our part, that American authorities bear all responsibility for our compatriot’s life and health”. Repeatedly, the MID said that Russia brought up the question of Yaroshenko’s health, as his treatment exacerbated his chronic diseases, from “the torture and humiliation he was subjected to during his arrest in Liberia and by the lack of proper medical aid. Unfortunately, they’ve still made no measures to improve the situation”.

The MID informed American diplomats of Russia’s intention to arrange a visit to Yaroshenko at Fort Dix in the near future by a group comprising Dolgov, senior diplomats from the Russian Embassy in Washington and Consulate General in New York, and Russian doctors to organise a qualified medical inspection of Yaroshenko and decide his treatment, saying, “We called on the American authorities not to obstruct this mission and give it any possible help”. Moscow expects a prompt and positive response from the USA, as it should take into account the humanitarian aspect of the situation, as it puts a human life in danger.

American authorities arrested Yaroshenko in Liberia on 28 May 2010 on the charge of preparing to smuggle a large haul of cocaine, deporting him to the USA. An American court (illegally) sentenced the Russian pilot to 20 years in prison on 7 September 2011. Russian representatives charged that the USA violated international law in this case, as the American special services captured a Russian citizen in a third country and  brought him to the USA in secret. On 15 August 2013, Dolgov told Interfax that the New York Federal Court of Appeals decision declining an appeal in the Yaroshenko case makes it possible to use the 1983 European Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons and that precedents of such coöperation between Russia and the USA already exist.

14 February 2014

Russia Beyond The Headlines

http://rbth.ru/news/2014/02/14/russia_presents_demarche_to_us_over_deterioration_of_prisoners_health_34227.html

Editor’s Note:

Not to put too fine a face on it, both Konstantin Yaroshenko and Viktor Bout are in American prisons illegally, as American law and courts have NO jurisdiction whatsoever outside of the USA. The Americans hold Yaroshenko and Bout as helpless pawns… the USA will use them to get release of its spies from (legally-imposed) Russian imprisonment. That’s an old story, isn’t it? Besides that, Americans are arrogant and hubristic… they think that their money buys them everything… including exemption from the law (look at how Wee Willy Romney’s father bought him a bogus “clergy exemption” in the Vietnam War… and how the Republican Party nominated such a cowardly amoral unpatriotic greedster as its standard-bearer).

It explains why certain clergy are protecting a convicted perv. The law doesn’t apply to them, dontcha know! Interesting… one of those in on the cover-up is a retired judge (at least, he’s kept silent publicly on the public silence on the kid glove treatment of the perv)… none dare call it evil.

BMD

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Thursday, 5 July 2012

Russia Plans To Bring Bout and Yaroshenko Home

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Today, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MID) human rights envoy Konstantin Dolgov stated that Russia is seeking the return of pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko and businessman Viktor Bout, who are in American prisons. Viktor Bout, who owned a cargo shipping business, was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment this April, convicted of plotting against the USA, as he allegedly intended to sell weapons to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Konstantin Yaroshenko was sentenced to 20 years in prison for allegedly plotting to smuggle cocaine to the USA. Both men plead their innocence. Dolgov found the sentences unfair, politically-motivated, and unwarranted, saying, “Both cases have politically-motivated aspects that we don’t like at all. The trials were conducted in violation of Bout’s and Yaroshenko’s rights, as Russia wasn’t officially briefed on Bout’s extradition from Thailand to the USA and on Yaroshenko’s arrest”.

Dolgov said that top officials are working on the matter, and Russia’s looking for any legal or political opportunity to bring the men home as soon as possible. Bout is set to appeal his verdict. Dolgov thought that the 1983 Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons ratified by Russia five years ago could help in this case, and Moscow expects the USA to launch the extradition mechanisms. On 4 July, the Ministry of Justice stated that it would submit an extradition request to return Bout home as soon as it receives a respective appeal from Viktor or his lawyers. Dolgov pointed up that the USA’s responsible for health and life of the two Russians, saying, “Yaroshenko was placed to an isolation block for no reason, where he had to sleep on a concrete floor. He also was denied medical help, even though he has serious health problems”.

A number of Russian appeals helped to improve Yaroshenko’s detention conditions. Bout is now in USP Marion, a medium-security prison in Marion IL, instead of the previously-planned Colorado Supermax (USP Florence ADX). However, the Americans still put him in a special block for especially-dangerous criminals, although his lawyers and the judge claimed that such harsh measures are unnecessary. Dolgov added that both problems would be resolved; that Moscow wants its citizens to receive appropriate treatment to have their rights respected.

5 July 2012

Olga Sobolevskaya

Voice of Russia World Service

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_07_05/Russia-bring-Bout-Yaroshenko-home/

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Could Viktor Bout Be Coming Home Soon?

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Lawyers for Russian businessman Viktor Bout, who received a 25-year prison sentence in the USA, are set to appeal his verdict. The RF Ministry of Justice plans to submit an extradition request in a bid to return Bout home. However, Bout wants to come back home acquitted of all charges and plans to appeal his sentence. If he fails, his defence lawyers plan to file a mercy plea, whilst extradition would be their last option.

Bout’s attorney Viktor Burobin said that the lawyers would be working in three main directions, saying, “Firstly, we’ll appeal his verdict twice, in a higher court and then in the US Supreme Court. We believe that Viktor’s innocent. We’ll file his appeals in accordance with US laws. We’ve also contacted the US Justice Department’s Office of the Pardon Attorney and we hope that the US President will pardon Bout on the principle of reciprocity. In 2000, US citizen Edmond Pope was sentenced to 20 years in prison for espionage in Russia. The trial took place on 6 December, but on 14 December, President Vladimir Putin pardoned Pope and allowed him to go back to the US. We want to use this precedent. The final option, which we’ve discussed with the Russian Foreign and Justice Ministries is extradition, which we believe would be the last option. We want to prove Bout’s innocence”.

Earlier, Viktor’s wife Alla said that the US Justice Department stated that Washington was prepared to consider an extradition application if Russia submits one in accordance with the 1983 Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. She said, “The Ministry of Justice asked me to prepare a number of documents to begin the extradition process. I understand that it’ll take a long time, and, now, we’re awaiting a response from the US Justice Department”. Bout is now in a medium-security federal prison in Marion IL. According to his wife, “Russian diplomats will soon visit him, but the USA is doing everything it can to hamper the visit. It’s difficult to get to the place, and there’s nowhere to stay. Viktor’s detention conditions leave much to be desired. He’s being held in solitary confinement and is only entitled to make two ten-minute phone calls a week to his family or a lawyer. He also has the right to receive 100 pages of printed materials a month. Maybe, later, Viktor will be allowed to use the prison library”.

On 5 April, Viktor Bout, who had a cargo shipping business, was sentenced to 25 years in prison after being convicted of conspiracy for plotting to sell weapons to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Three US agents posing as FARC militants set him up, claiming that they wanted to buy weapons from him had.

29 June 2012

Lada Korotun

Voice of Russia World Service

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_06_29/79759379/

Monday, 11 June 2012

Russia to Respond to Magnitsky Act

This smells like the same ol’, same ol’… plenty of muck in all the byres, I say…

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RF Gosduma Deputy Aleksei Pushkov, the heads of the Gosduma Committee on Foreign Affairs, declared that if the US Congress approved the so-called Justice for Sergei Magnitsky Act, Russia would respond accordingly. Yesterday, one of the committees of the US House of Representatives approved the draft bill. The Act stipulates visa-issuing and financial sanctions against Russian officials who, in the authors’ opinion, were privy to the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. Experts interviewed by VOR believed that both chambers of the US Congress would approve the Act.

On 7 June, the majority of Congressmen in the US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs approved the so-called Magnitsky Act. The initiator of this bill is Senator Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) {he’s one of the most virulent and biased members of the Israel Lobby… so this is no surprise, along with being one of the most pro-Corporate and anti-transparency whores out there (he’s no leftist, by any measure): editor}. He’s made a list of people who’re, in his opinion, involved in the death of Magnitsky and responsible for violations associated with his arrest {note well that it ISN’T the fruit of an objective formal investigation… it’s just a pol’s unhinged and unfounded speculations and suspicions: editor}. To recap, Sergei Magnitsky died in a Moscow isolation ward in 2009 whilst under investigation on tax charges. Cardin drew up the Magnitsky Act on the basis of a list of officials’ names. The Act would freeze their assets in US banks and deny them US visas.

According to official procedure, after passing the Committee on Foreign Affairs, two other committees must approve the Act. Then, it goes before the entire House of Representatives for a vote. Then, a similar procedure would occur in the US Senate. Political scientist Yuri Korguniuk said, “Considering that elections for the US Congress are to be held in November, it’s obvious that both parties will use the bill to score political points. I can’t see any obstacles to the Congress accepting this Act. In the election campaign, the Democrats want to demonstrate that they’re not encouraging Russia to violate human rights. Some lobbyists could be against the Act stressing that it’d be better not to aggravate relations with Russia. Anyway, I don’t think anyone will listen to them in the heat of the election campaign.”

In March this year, several US Senators with Republican John McCain at the head, spoke in favour of cancelling the Jackson-Vanik Amendment in exchange for the approval of the Magnitsky Act by Congress. Jackson-Vanik, adopted in the 1970s, introduced restrictions on trade with the USSR, and, later, with Russia. The Obama Administration declared that this doesn’t solve anything, and is now negotiating with Cardin and other Senators. Many US businessmen are against the notorious bill, amongst them the President of the influential National Foreign Trade Council, William Reinsch.

Valery Garbuzov, an expert in American studies, said, “However, when one man’s tragedy is used for political purposes, it’s unlikely that the Congress will listen to reason. Obama’s promoting a ‘reset’ of relations, but the Congress has a strong influence on US domestic and foreign policy. Dozens of congressmen have Russophobic views, and they won’t change them in the near future. We should consider this as reality. Actually, one could predict such a response from the USA”.

Yesterday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasised that it could consider the approval of the Magnitsky Act by the US Congress as interference in Russia’s internal affairs. For example, Deputy Pushkov said that Russia could take equivalent measures, such as make lists of Americans who violate the rights of Russian citizens, and refuse them Russian visas {this is a not-so-veiled reference to Viktor Bout and others illegally nicked by the Americans outside of the USA: editor}. At the same time, experts pointed up that it’s too early to forecast the aggravation of Russian-American relations if the Congress approves the Magnitsky Act. Political experts noted that Russia and the USA have common interests on a whole range of topics, such as the preservation of the strategic armaments balance, non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, and providing global security.

8 June 2012

Voice of Russia World Service

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_06_08/77530131/

Editor’s Note:

Magnitsky was involved with a Langley-affiliated front, “Hermitage Capital Management”. In short, he was a Langley asset in all but name (much like Potapov, when he was at the BBG). That is, America believes that it has the right to place its agents in any country, and that it has the right to interfere in those countries, as it wills. Most states take umbrage at that, quite properly. Could you imagine the brouhaha if the Russian Ambassador to the USA did a tenth of what the USA attempts to pull in Russia? Why, there’d be pandemonium in Congress. If we wouldn’t like it if it were done to us, we shouldn’t be doing it to others, full stop.

Very conveniently, Hermitage Capitol has an incorporation in Guernsey and the Cayman Islands, which means that it’s immune from US government oversight. It sees one of its main functions as exposing political/corporate corruption in Russia. Hell, they don’t have to go that far… just dig around in the District; you’d find beaucoup instances of corporate/political fraud. They’d come up with more corruption on one block of K Street than they’d ever find in the entire Kremlin. Oh, I forgot… all the pols are on K Street’s payroll, so, the lobbyists have a “Get Out of Jail Free” card signed by Cardin and Darrell Issa… bipartisan from both houses, dontcha know! Judged by the standards of the District, the Russian government are a bunch of pikers compared to the US Congress (Mark Twain had a thing or two to say on that score) when it comes to featherbedding, corruption, earmarking, and general raking in of the boodle.

In short, this is typical DC Sturm und Drang… it’s the usual hypocritical posturing and bloviating. Let’s see… how many Congressmen AREN’T millionaires? There’s not many of those, are there? Cardin had best keep his mouth zipped or his manifest ties to Corporate America might become better known. He certainly DOES know corruption (could one say from the inside?)…

BMD

Appendix:

Mark Twain had something to say about the US Congress:

It’s defended official criminals, on party pretexts, until it’s created a US Senate whose members are incapable of determining what crime against law and the dignity of their own body is… they’re so morally blind… and it’s made light of dishonesty till we have, as a result, a Congress which contracts to work for a certain sum and then deliberately steals additional wages out of the public pocket and is pained and surprised that anybody should worry about a little thing like that.

He also said:

Who’re the oppressors? The few… the King, the capitalist, and a handful of other overseers and superintendents. Who’re the oppressed? The many… the nations of the earth; the valuable personages; the workers; they that make the bread that the soft-handed and idle eat.

There… Mark Twain’s verdict on the Benjamin Cardins and John McCains of this world (along with their corporate paymasters)… it’s none too flattering, is it? America dares to “judge” the world… and does worse in its own precincts. They need to muck out their own byre before passing judgement on others. I seem to smell it from here… pass me the jug…

BMD

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