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US jury finds Russian citizen Osipova guilty of extortion, kidnapping own children

March 07, 6:42 UTC+3 NEW YORK

The sentencing is due to take place within two months

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© Ruslan Shamukov/TASS

NEW YORK, March 7. /TASS/. A US jury found Russian citizen Bogdana Osipova guilty on charges of kidnapping her own children and of two counts of extortion, a leader of Osipova’s support group in the US, Tatyana Yakusheva, has told TASS.

The jury, which convened on Wednesday in the town of Wichita, Kansas, cleared Osipova of the remaining counts of extortion.

"Bogdana was found guilty of kidnapping and of two counts of extortion. She was cleared of the remaining two counts of extortion. The guilty verdict was confirmed by each of the 12 jury members who took part in the session," she said.

"In total, 14 jury members - nine men and five women - attended the court session. However, as the decision is to be made by 12 members, two female members of the jury were told to leave. This is a clear sign of discrimination, a disproportionate and unfair jury make-up, especially considering that the trial concerned a conflict between a husband and a wife, between a man and a woman," Yakusheva said.

The US District Judge for Kansas, Eric Melgren, will pronounce the final verdict and announce the sentence within the next two months.

Osipova case

The 37-year-old Russian, known by her husband’s name Mobley in the US judicial documents, has dual citizenship - Russian and American. She and her husband Brian Mobley have two underage children. The US authorities accuse Osipova of taking the children, also having dual citizenship, to Russia in 2014 without their father’s consent.

The Russian was detained by FBI agents on September 28, 2017 in Wichita, where she had come over the issue of child custody. She filed a suit with city’s family court city to protest against full custody going to the father. The court noted the claim and announced the date for a hearing, but two days later FBI officers detained the woman within the framework of a criminal case opened at the suit of her former husband.

According to US laws, kidnapping own children is punishable with up to three years in jail. However, each count of extortion may entail up to 20 years in prison.

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