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Investigation Committee says info on Kuzmin’s death in US contradictory

March 04, 2013, 20:51 UTC+3

The Investigation Committee “intends to determine the actual causes of three –year-old Maxim Kuzmin’s death

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MOSCOW, March 4 (Itar-Tass) – Russia’s Investigation Committee said the U.S. information regarding the death of Russian child Maxim Kuzmin adopted in the United States is “overly contradictory” and it would insist on determining the real causes of his death.

“It’s strange that initially a representative of the American social security service said that Maxim had died from cruel treatment by the adoptive mother. It was also noted that numerous injuries and bruises on the head and legs were found during the examination. The autopsy also revealed injuries in the abdominal cavity and internal organs. Now, according to the American side, the child reportedly died accidentally from the injury he had inflicted upon himself,” Investigation Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said on Monday, March 4.

“The conclusions are overly contradictory and this cannot but raise numerous questions. For us, the circumstances of Maxim Kuzmin’s death will remain in question until the real causes of his death are determined. Russian investigators need to study the materials of the American investigation for that,” he said.

“If our American colleagues want to convince us that the child’s death is an accident, we see no reason why they could not share their investigative materials with us as part of the request for legal assistance and, for starters, send the results of the forensic analysis to Russian investigators,” Markin said.

The Investigation Committee “intends to determine the actual causes of three –year-old Maxim Kuzmin’s death. I see nothing shameful in such cooperation of American competent bodies with Russian investigative bodies when it comes to the death of the child who was a citizen of Russia before his death and who died in the United States under strange circumstances, to say the least. At any rate, for its part, the Investigation Committee will use all legitimate methods under Russian and international law to press for determining the actual causes of Maxim Kuzmin’s death and persons responsible for it,” Markin said.

Texas’ Ector County District Attorney Bobby Bland said earlier that forensic experts had “returned a finding that the cause of death to this child was a laceration to the small bowel mesenteric artery of this child. But the manner of death was accidental.”

“I had four doctors agree that this is the result of an accident Bland said at a joint news conference with Ector County Sheriff Mark Donaldson, referring to the January 21 death of Max Shatto, also known by his Russian name, Maxim Kuzmin.

“We have to take that as fact,” Bland said.

The Ector County sheriff in Texas said that the child had died as a result of an accident. Medics did not find traces of any medical preparations in the boy’s body although his foster parents’ lawyer said that they had been giving him a strong psychotropic drug for some time.

Bland confirmed that the medical examiners had found no sign of drugs in the boy’s system and added that bruises on his body were consistent with self-inflicted injuries.

“He had a history of self-injury,” Bland told. “It was a behavioral disorder that manifested itself in this way, and it was previously documented.”

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 reportedly 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.


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