The Colombian doctor Elías Mauricio Rojas Ardila, sentenced in Russia to four years in prison for possession and storage of hallucinogenic substances, was released after a court in Saint Petersburg reduced his sentence, the Colombian government reported on Tuesday.
The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that “the Superior Court of the city of Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation, ordered the release” of Rojas Ardila “after reducing from four to one year the sentence that had been imposed in the first instance by the Vyborgsky District Court of St. Petersburg, on October 5, 2022.”
The information added that the decision was made at the appeal hearing held on February 6.
Rojas traveled to St. Petersburg in 2019 to begin medical specialization studies in allergology and immunology at the State University of Pediatric Medicine.
The Colombian allegedly suffers from excessive sleepiness and for that reason he bought some pills that his doctor prescribed in Colombia but that contain a prohibited substance in Russia.
Rojas was arrested on February 17, 2021 and released on December 30 of the same year, but the investigation continued and on October 5, 2022 he was sentenced to four years in prison.
Rojas’s family sent the medical history and the formula with which the medication was prescribed to demonstrate that it is a legal product in Colombia. EFE