US says Russian pilot given consular access

21st July 2010, Comments 0 comments

The United States said Wednesday that a Russian pilot extradited from Liberia on smuggling charges received prompt consular access, after Moscow voiced fury over the case.

Russia's foreign ministry earlier Wednesday accused the United States of "kidnapping" cargo-plane pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko and said US authorities did not inform the Russian embassy about his detention.

"Upon his arrival in New York, he was given consular access," US State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters when asked about the charges.

Crowley declined further comment, saying he had not seen the foreign ministry statement and that the Justice Department was handling the case.

Seven people including one Russian were arrested in Liberia on May 28 on drug trafficking and conspiracy charges and deported to the United States after drug enforcement officials caught them with 4,000 kilos (8,800 pounds) of cocaine.

© 2010 AFP

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