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Astakhov asks US partners to explain court verdict lifting partially accusations from parents of demised child Vanya Skorobogatov

July 17, 2013, 1:42 UTC+3
The accusation was changed to unpremeditated murder and the term in prison was cut from four years to 16 months
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MOSCOW, July 17 (Itar-Tass) - Russian Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights Pavel Astakhov has made an official request in the United States to explain the court verdict that lifted partially the accusations from U.S. adoptive parents of Vanya Skorobogatov, the press service of the Russian children’s ombudsman told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

The court of the U.S. state Pennsylvania agreed to satisfy partially the appeal to lift the accusations from Michael Craver reducing the term in prison for him to 16 months. Michael Craver and his wife were found guilty of unpremeditated murder of the child adopted in Russia.

“The sentence - 16 months for what was committed, with the objective picture that the child sustained over 80 bodily injuries, including over 20 head injuries. At first the prosecutor demanded capital punishment, but finally the sentence is 16 months. The children’s ombudsman has made an official request to the U.S. colleagues to explain this court verdict. We fulfilled our agreements with the U.S. State Department and do not make any conclusions before the officially confirmed information is received over Craver’s appeal and the attitude of the official U.S. authorities to him,” the press service reported.

The death of Vanya Skorobogatov in 2009 stirred up a broad public response. The Craver spouses faced the accusation of murder of the adopted son. In February 2010 they were arrested. According to the version of the prosecution, Vanya died of injuries that he has got in the beating of him and of underfeeding.

Adoptive parents Michael and Nannette Cravers spent 15 months in prison, while the trial lasted. They are at large for two years, do not plead guilty, affirming that the child was mentally disabled and has got injuries himself.

The accusation was changed to unpremeditated murder and the term in prison was cut from four years to 16 months.

Both spouses are at large already for two years, spending only 15 months in prison. Their lawyer asked the court to lift the accusation partially. He motivates this by the fact that the husband Craver cannot find a good job over the record about the criminal offence and subsequently cannot pay a fine and cover the trial costs at a total sum of 58,000 dollars.

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