NEW YORK, Aug. 25 (UPI) — A man jailed in New York without trial for nearly four years paid a pilot to pull a banner demanding his day in court, officials say.
Vadim Vassilenko, 44, was originally put behind bars in 2007, accused of taking part in an identity theft crime ring, the New York Daily Post reported.
On Tuesday, the man, who has yet to have a trial, paid to have a Cessna 172 Skyhawk $1,250 flown over Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach areas with a sign that read: “V. VASSILENKO JAILED 5+ YRS — NO TRIAL — IS THIS LEGAL?”
Vassilenko’s lawyer, Rick Pasacreta, says the case is more complex, saying his client changed his legal counsel at least four times since his indictment. Pasacreta said the legal process has also been slowed by appeal courts reinstating charge Vassilenko’s previous attorney had dropped.
“At first blush and in a vacuum, hearing that someone has been incarcerated this long [without trial], it’s outrageous,” Pasacreta said. “But this case has gotten a lot more complex in the four years since he was thrown in jail.”
This is not the first time Vassilenko has been jailed; he served time in 2006 for running an unlicensed check-cashing and money-transfer store.