Tajikistan to reconsider foreign pilots’ case

Photo: Tajikistan to reconsider foreign pilots’ case / Tajikistan

Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 16 / Trend, V. Zhavoronkova/

Tajikistan's Kurgan-Tyube court that passed a sentence on the case of Russian pilot Vladimir Sadovnichiy and Estonian pilot Alexei Rudenko has sent the case to a higher instance-the collegium of the Khatlon district court for reconsideration, Asa-Plus reported.

Earlier, the Khatlon District prosecutor's office opposed the sentence, calling it "too severe". The pilots and their lawyers also appealed against it.

The report does not specify when results of the reconsideration will be announced.

The two pilots were detained by Tajikistan's security service in March after landing at Tajik Kurgan-Tyube airfield with two An-72 transport aircrafts, one of which was carrying a spare engine described by the court as a "smuggled engine."

The sentence on the pilots was announced on Nov. 8 and was called "extremely severe and politically motivated" by Moscow.

The aircrafts, operated by Rolkan Investments, departed from Kabul, Afghanistan and was bound for Moscow. After entering Tajikistan's airspace it was ordered to return to Kabul by Tajik air traffic controllers. The pilots said they could not comply due to the lack of fuel and landed at Kurgan-Tyube instead.

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