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Absentee arrest of U.S. foster parents of Russian child impossible

November 28, 2011, 17:26 UTC+3
The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has turned down as illegal bringing a criminal charge against US foster parents Michael and Nannette Craver
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MOSCOW, November 28 (Itar-Tass) —— The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has turned down as illegal bringing a criminal charge against US foster parents Michael and Nannette Craver, who adopted Russian child Vanya Skorobogatov, a representative of the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office said at Moscow’s Basmanny district court on Monday, which is looking into an appeal to put Nannette and Michael Craver under arrest.

The prosecutor explained that the U.S. citizens had already been convicted on this case in their native country, "which means that they cannot be prosecuted for the same crime in Russia". Therefore, the prosecutor’s representative said that he objects to the arrest of the U.S. citizens in absentia. In connection with the verdict earlier passed to the Craver couple in Pennsylvania and in accordance with Article 12 of the Russian Criminal Code the couple are not subject to prosecution on the territory of the Russian Federation, and their arrest in the status of defendants is illegal, the source said.

The investigation’s appeal to arrest the Cravers contains neither necessary data about their personality nor confirms that they are in hiding, the prosecutor said. "There are no grounds to put them into custody as a remand sanction," he stressed.

On November 21, 2011 the Russian Investigative Committee opened a criminal case against the Cravers in absentia, accusing them of murder of the seven-year-old Vanya Skorobogatov whom the U.S. couple adopted in Russia. The couple, charged with the murder of a child in helpless condition which is punished by the Russian Criminal Code, was put on an Interpol list as wanted for crime.

An investigation into the death of Vanya Skorobogatov was intensively resumed in Russia after the U.S. jury court passed a verdict to the U.S. couple, which the Russian side assessed as "too mild", and released them from custody.

Vanya Skorobogatov adopted with his twin sister from an orphanage in Chelyabinsk, Russia, in 2003, died on August 25, 2009 of problems caused by brain injury. Forensic experts found more than 80 bruises on the child’s body, including 20 on his head. Besides, the seven-year-old boy was in an extremely exhausted condition.

 

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