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Astakhov, Bastrykin to discuss investigation of Russian boy’s death in US

February 21, 2013, 1:46 UTC+3

Maxim Kuzmin and his elder brother Kirill were adopted by Alan and Laura Shatto of Texas late last year

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МOSCOW, February 20 (Itar-Tass) –Russian Children’s Ombudsman Pavel Astakhov and Investigation Committee chief Alexander Bastrykin will discuss on February 21 the investigation into the death of Maxim Kuzmin, a three-year-old Russian boy who died in the foster family in the United States.

Maxim Kuzmin and his elder brother Kirill were adopted by Alan and Laura Shatto of Texas late last year. The court ruling on their adoption was made in October 2012 before the Dima Yakovlev Law was passed and the ban on adoptions became effective. The boys arrived in the U.S. in December 2012 or early January 2013.

Maxim died on January 21 from cruel treatment by his foster mother. The American authorities are investigating the case. The results of autopsy are not known.

The Russian Investigation Committee has opened a criminal case in connection with Maxim Kuzmin’s murder.

Investigation Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said earlier that the Investigation Committee “is taking all necessary measures to bring the child’s foster mother to justice.”

He said the Russian investigators would ask the court to issue an arrest warrant for her in absentia and put her on the international wanted list. The Investigation Committee will also insist that the Russian investigators be allowed to take part in the investigation in the U.S.

“As part of the inquest, the investigators requested information and materials from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Presidential Children’s Ombudsman Pavel Astakhov. After these materials have been studied and the offence has been accurately classified, the decision will be made whether to open a criminal case,” Markin said.

Astakhov asked the Investigation Committee to open a criminal case in connection with Maxim Kuzmin’s death in a foster family in the U.S.

Maxim Kuzmin was killed by his foster mother in Texas, the Russian president’s ombudsman for the rights of children, Pavel Astakhov, said in his Twitter blog.

“For the duration of the investigation, the American foster mother has been barred from raising the other child but allowed to see him once a week,” Astakhov added.

The Russian Foreign Ministry’s commissioner for human rights, democracy and the rule of law Konstantin Dolgov said the death was “yet another inhuman act of torture against a Russian child adopted by an American family.”

“According to the U.S. social welfare service, Maxim died on January 21 of this year in his foster parents’ home as a result of cruel treatment by his foster mother. Her last name is Shatto,” the diplomat told Itar-Tass.

According to Dolgov, Kuzmin was found to have had “numerous injuries on legs and head, abdominal cavity and internal organs that could have been caused by a strong blow. The foster parents regularly gave the three-year-old child a strong psychotropic substance that is usually used in the treatment of schizophrenia in adults. But this is a three-year-old boy! What a shocking detail,” the diplomat said.

Moscow hopes that if these facts prove correct, those responsible for the death of the child will face severe punishment. We will watch the investigation of the Maxim Kuzmin case. We expect those responsible for his death to get the severe penalty they deserve,” Dolgov said.

He regretted that “unlike the local authorities the U.S. Department of State did not help our Embassy officials in any way investigate the causes of the new death of a Russian child in the United States.”

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