Prisoner swap plan devised by MİT on Moscow, Washington demand: Sources
Uğur Ergan – ANKARA
All the details of the Russian and the U.S. prisoners swap on April 27 in the capital Ankara were devised step by step by the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MİT) following a joint demand from the two countries’ intelligence services, sources have said.
The request for the exchange of Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko and American marine corpsman Trevor Reed came to MİT headquarters days earlier.
Intelligence officials directly reported the demand to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and with his approval, the operation began.
First, the type of planes that two countries’ officials would use while bringing prisoners was chosen. Then MİT decided to conduct the operation in “Ankara at 2 p.m. on April 27.”
Within the scope of the MİT plan, both planes landed at the same base and parked near each other.
After Turkish officials confirmed the identities of all people on board the planes, the order to open the doors was given.
Yaroshenko and Reed left the plane with two countries’ intelligence officials near them at the same time, and the swap was held at the exact time as planned. After the swap, both planes took off again at the same time.
Reed, a 30-year-old former Marine from Texas, was arrested in the summer of 2019 after Russian authorities said he assaulted an officer while being driven by police to a police station following a night of heavy drinking. He was later sentenced to nine years in prison.
Yaroshenko was arrested in Liberia in 2010 and extradited to the United States on drug trafficking charges.