MOSCOW, June 7. /TASS/. Head of the Civic Chamber’s Commission for Information Community, Media and Mass Communications, Alexander Malkevich, blasted the recent verdict by an American court in Kansas to sentence Russian national Bogdana Osipova (Mobley) to seven years in prison for ‘extortion’ and ‘kidnapping’ her own children as government-level gangsterism.
"The actions by the US authorities towards Russian nationals are looking increasingly like a witch-hunt. The situation with Bogdana Osipova, Maria Butina and many others suggests this. This is not just a violation of human rights that the Americans like to go on and on about at the drop of a hat, it is genuine state-level gangsterism," Malkevich told TASS on Friday.
So, "any Russian finding himself not only in the US but also in other countries, is not immune from being arrested and extradited," he stressed. "What happened to Osipova goes completely beyond the bounds of common sense," said Malkevich, who is also the director of the Foundation for Protection of National Values.
"Trying to take the children away from their mother, accusing her of all sorts of offenses, locking her up in a mad house and demanding maximum punishment, - this can be done only by those who don’t give a damn about either her or her children," the Civic Chamber member emphasized.
This "universal lawlessness requires urgent measures to protect our fellow countrymen," he stressed. "This is why a special foundation is being set up that will be able to legally and financially help our nationals. This concept is also supported by the Federation Council," Malkevich went on to say.
"Recently, [Federation Council Speaker] Valentina Matviyenko had instructed senators to submit proposals to the Russian Finance Ministry to earmark funds in the 2020 budget for protecting Russian nationals abroad," he explained.
The Bogdana Osipova case
On Thursday, a US federal court in Wichita, Kansas, sentenced Osipova to 84 months in a 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 (Russian and American) citizenship. 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 proceedings had already commenced.
Their youngest daughter was born 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 at the local family court to contest the decision of the father being awarded full custody. 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, a 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.