Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko pardoned Iranian citizen Ali Dzhaduey to enable his exchange for Ukrainian sailor Andriy Novichkov, stated Deputy Foreign Minister Serhiy Kyslytsya at a press conference at the Boryspil International Airport.
“The Iranian citizen who has been pardoned by the President’s decree is already in his country. We went there earlier, at 12 a.m.,” he said. The Iranian, a graduate student at a Kharkiv university, was sentenced to 11 years in prison in June 2018 for trying to buy classified government information.
During the conference, Novichkov said that the condition of his health was satisfactory, and he would return home to Odessa. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry noted that Novichkov was not found guilty of any crime in Iran.
Ukrainian sailor Andriy Novichkov was detained in Iran in February 2017 on suspicion of killing a sailor, Mohammad Bahranpur. There were no witnesses or evidence in Novichkov’s case. The sailor from Odessa claims that the killed sailor had jumped overboard. According to Iranian laws, Novichkov could have been sentenced to capital punishment for murder.
Odessa Regional Council supported the appeal to the leader of the country with a request to assist the sailor from Odessa. The numerous flash mobs in social networks and actions in support of the sailor have received considerable public resonance.
Novichkov was released from the Iranian prison on January 8. Novichkov is the seventh Ukrainian captive released by the Foreign Ministry and the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine.