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DOJ: No special treatment for Russian drug couriers

MANILA, Philippines — Two Russians, arrested for smuggling 23 kilos of cocaine into the country last year, are not enjoying special treatment, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said yesterday.

Aguirre issued the statement after President Duterte told Russian Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev that the two alleged drug smugglers would be given a fair trial and “detained in a comfortable house.”

Aguirre said Yuri Kirdyushkin is being held in the Metro Manila District Jail (MMDJ) at Camp Bagong Diwa while Anastasia Novophashina is being held at the Pasay City Jail. The cases against them are pending in court.

When Duterte said the suspects would be given “comfortable accommodations,” it should be taken in context that many jails and prisons in the country are congested, Aguirre said.

Kirdyushkin is staying with 72 other detainees in a room meant for 10 persons, he noted.

This weekend, he would be transferred to a cell measuring 34 square meters, which he would share with only six other foreigners.

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As for Novophashina, she is staying with 70 other detainees in a cell meant for 10 persons.

“She would soon be transferred to a female unit in the MMDJ,”Aguirre said.

They would also be segregated from local detainees because sometimes they would receive guests from embassies, he added.

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