Ukrainian sailor Andriy Novichkov released in Iran — Poroshenko
President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine has said Ukrainian sailor Andriy Novichkov from Odesa who has been accused of murder by the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran has been released from custody in Iran and is currently residing in the territory of the Ukrainian embassy there.
"Ukrainian sailor Novichkov has just been released. At present Andriy is residing in the territory of the Ukrainian embassy in Iran. I herewith congratulate Odesa residents with the return of our fellow countryman," Poroshenko wrote in a post on his Facebook page on January 8.
The head of state said that he had already told the seaman's grandmother, Olena Mykolayivna, the good news, who was waiting for her grandson's release.
"I personally thanked her for her firm position and faith in resolving the situation. She received a clear order from me - to bring her blood pressure back to normal and after a few days to be ready to hug her loved one. This is probably the happiest Christmas in the life of the guy and his family," Poroshenko wrote.
Novichkov has been kept in the Iranian prison for the last two years. On January 17, 2017, on the ship Arezoo (the flag of Iran, home port Qeshm), an ordinary sailor, an Iranian, jumped overboard. Novichkov became a witness of this emergency, who immediately gave the alarm and organized rescue work. The sailor's body was not found. Upon arrival in Iran, the citizen of Ukraine was removed from the vessel and taken to court, where he was charged with incitement to suicide. The Iranian court did not find evidence of his guilt, but intended to condemn Odesa resident to the death penalty.
On December 30, 2018, the president of Ukraine signed a pardon for Iranian Ali Dzhaduel, convicted in Kharkiv to 11 years in prison for spying for the Islamic Republic of Iran.
After the decision of the Ukrainian president to pardon the Iranian citizen, the Iranian authorities resorted to symmetrical actions, the local Odesa ezine Depo.Odesa said.