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Investigative Committee opens criminal case over murder of Russian child in US foster family

February 19, 2013, 14:36 UTC+3

The Russian lawmakers observed a minute of silence in memory of Maxim Kuzmin

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MOSCOW, February 19 (Itar-Tass) - The Investigative Committee  opened a criminal case over the murder of Russian boy Maxim Kuzmin in a U.S. adoptive family, SK spokesman Vladimir Markin told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

"The criminal case was opened under Article 105, Part 2 of Russia's Criminal Code," Markin said, "the Investigative Committee will take all the necessary measures to arraign the child's adoptive mother."

"Investigators intend to ask the court to sanction her arrest in absentia, as the measure of restraint, and put her on the Interpol wanted list. The SK will insist that Russian investigators participate in the probe into the crime in the United States. Other necessary measures will be taken to make sure that the persons guilty of the murder of the Russian child suffer the most severe punishment."

Earlier, Russian children's ombudsman Pavel Astakhov wrote on Twitter that Maxim, 3, had been beaten up /according to the investigators/ by his adoptive mother, who had been giving him strong psychedelic drugs for a long time.

The boy died before the ambulance arrived. According to forensic experts, he had numerous injuries. The U.S. foster mother has been allowed to see another child, Maxim's brother Kirill, 2, once a week, according to the ombudsman.

Astakhov said Texas prosecutors were ready to cooperate with Russia in investigating Maxim's death. "I've discussed the details of Maxim Kuzmin's death with the Russian consul general in Texas. The prosecutor's office of this state is ready to cooperate in the investigation. Aside from Maxim, the family adopted his two-year-old brother Kirill," he said.

Russian Foreign Ministry representative for human rights, democracy and supremacy of law Konstantin Dolgov told Tass on Monday that the U.S. Department of States, unlike the local authorities, had not helped the Russian Embassy to learn the details of Maxim's death.

"It is another case of inhuman torture of adopted child from Russia by U.S. foster parents," he stated, according to the U.S. social security service, Maxim died on January 21 as a result of cruel treatment by his foster mother. Her second name is Shatto. An examination of the child's body found numerous head and leg injuries, and autopsy showed stomach and internal organs traumas that could have been caused by a powerful blow. Also, the foster parents regularly gave Maxim powerful psychedelic drugs, which are normally used to treat serious forms of schizophrenia in adults. But it was a three-year-old child. It's absolutely shocking," Dolgov said.

Moscow is hoping that in case the facts are confirmed in the course of the investigation, the culprits will suffer severe punishment, he added.

Maxim Kuzmin was killed on January 21. The Russian Embassy in Washington learnt the news despite a lack of reaction on the part of the U.S. Department of State. It is the 20th death of Russian children in U.S. foster families.

Meanwhile, first deputy chairwoman of the Russian parliament committee for family, women and children Olga Batalina /United Russia faction/ urged the lawmakers to ask the U.S. Congress to ensure the safety of adopted Russian children.

"Unfortunately, the tragic story recurs in the United States, and only adoption ban can stop this vicious circle," the parliamentarian underlined in a five-minute statement prior to the plenary session on Tuesday.

"Our arguments /when passing the Dima Yakovlev law" banning the adoption of Russian children by Americans/ seemed unconvincing to some, but let us recall why we banned adoption: it's because the USA does not ensure the safety of children. Because facts of cruel treatment are concealed. Because the USA allows persons, capable of murdering a three-year-old child, to adopt children. Many are unable even to raise their hand to smack a naughty child. And we talk about the people who can feed him strong psychedelic drugs, beat him for months, and murder; and the U.S. system puts no barrier to such candidates to foster care," Batalina said, "this means another cruel person might be allowed to adopt a child tomorrow and the day after tomorrow."

"We banned the adoption by U.S. citizens because the death of a Russian child is not a tragedy there; we see no measures taken over the facts of such deaths, which would make us hope that such situations will never happen again," she said.

Addressing speaker Sergei Naryshkin, Batalina said "the problem is systemic."

"There are almost 60,000 Russian children living in the USA. So I believe it is necessary to address the U.S. Congress on behalf of the State Duma and demand ensuring the safety of Russian child, changing the adoption system, and introducing tough control over the life of Russian children," she stated.

Maxim is survived by his two-year-old step-brother; I'm addressing the U.S. authorities, let the child return to Russia, his brother was being murdered for several months before his very eyes. I'm sure that kind and decent foster parents can be found for him here, and that the child will be happy."

The Russian lawmakers observed a minute of silence in memory of Maxim Kuzmin.


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