MOSCOW, October 13 (RIA Novosti) - A court in Finland has given an 18-month suspended sentence to a Russian mother accused of kidnapping her own son, who has both Russian and Finnish citizenship, the woman's Finnish lawyer said on Tuesday.
Rimma Salonen was charged with illegally taking her son Anton, now 6, out of Finland last year. In April of this year, her ex-husband, Paavo Salonen, took Anton back to Finland with the help of a St. Petersburg-based Finnish diplomat, an incident that sparked an angry response from the Russian government.
"She [Salonen] was given an 18-month suspended sentence for the abduction of a minor...she was also ordered to pay 30,000 euros in compensation to her former husband for moral damages and losses," Johan Backman said, adding that additional theft charges had been dropped.
"We will appeal the ruling," he said.
On April 12, Anton Salonen was abducted by his father in Russia, and driven across the border into Finland by Simo Pietilainen, who at the time was an employee of the Finnish Consulate in St. Petersburg.
Salonen, from Russia's Nizhny Novgorod Region, was arrested on Saturday at an airport in the Finnish city of Tampere, where she had traveled to take out 30,000 euros previously frozen in her Finnish account, and to meet with Anton, as well as Nikita, her 19-year-old son from a previous marriage.
Backman told reporters that just before leaving for Finland, she had contacted Finnish police and received a guarantee from them that she would not be arrested.
Salonen went on trial on September 29. Finnish prosecutors demanded a suspended sentence for her, while her former husband said she should be given a prison sentence of at least 18 months.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov later protested to his Finnish counterpart, Alexander Stubb, over the incident, and Pietilainen was declared persona non grata in Russia.
The issue was also raised at a meeting between Russia's prime minister and Finland's president at their meeting on June 3.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the former Finnish diplomat's actions undermined trust between the countries, and Finnish President Tarja Halonen condemned the behavior of the diplomat.