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Diplomats slam US sentence against Russian mom for 'kidnapping' as unjust

A US court has sentenced Russian national Bogdana Osipova to seven years in prison for kidnapping her children and extortion

MOSCOW, June 7. /TASS/. Russia’s consulate-general in Houston has slammed as unfair the verdict by a US court in Wichita, Kansas, to sentence Russian national Bogdana Osipova (Mobley) to seven years in prison for kidnapping her children and extortion.

The diplomatic mission wrote on Twitter that it would seek the review of the sentence. "Today the trial of the mother of three children Bogdana Osipova was held in the city of Wichita, Kansas. She was sentenced to seven years behind bars actually for having asked her ex-husband to pay alimony," the consulate-general tweeted. "We consider that this sentence is unfair and inhuman, and we will seek its review."

The consulate-general has described the case as another example of "a gross violation of Russian citizens’ rights by the US authorities." The Russian diplomats vowed to continue monitoring the situation and to make every effort to support the woman.

The attorneys are planning to file an appeal against the court’s decision soon.

A federal US court in the District of Kansas in Wichita on Thursday sentenced Osipova to 84 months in federal prison for "unlawfully taking her daughter to Russia and demanding money before allowing the American father to have custody of the girl."

Thirty-eight year-old Bogdana Osipova, known by her ex-husband’s name Mobley in the US court documents, has dual citizenship - Russian and American. She has three underage children, among them younger girls from her ex-spouse Brian Mobley. The US authorities accuse Osipova of taking their elder daughter without her ex-husband’s permission out of the US to Russia while being pregnant in 2014. At the time, their divorce process had already commenced. Their youngest daughter was born already in Russia the same year, after that the divorce was finalized. A US court decided that both children should live with their father, while a Russian court determined that Russia should be their place of residence and the father was ordered to pay alimony.

FBI agents detained the Russian woman on September 28, 2017 in Wichita, Kansas, where she had arrived to sort out the child custody issue. She filed a suit with the local family court to contest the decision to award full custody to the father. The court accepted the claim and announced a date for a hearing, but two days later FBI agents arrested the woman because of a criminal charge that had been pressed by her former husband.

During the case hearings in the Wichita Court, Bogdana Osipova agreed to bring the younger children back to the US expecting to be freed later, however, the Russian court barred the children from leaving the country in their best interest. The girls are currently living in Russia with a guardian, Osipova’s aunt.