10:10 GMT +317 November 2019
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    US Court Sentences Russian Citizen Osipova-Mobley to 7-Year Jail Term for Parental Kidnapping

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Russian citizen Bogdana Osipova-Mobley was sentenced in a US federal court in Kansas on Thursday after being convicted in the United States on charges of international parental kidnapping because she moved her children to Russia while divorcing her husband.

    The US District Court for the District of Kansas in Wichita also obliged Osipova-Mobley to return her children to the US as a condition for her release, a Sputnik correspondent reported from the courtroom.

    Osipova was present in the courtroom in shackles, and with tears in her eyes asked the court to release her. Her ex-husband Brian Mobley demanded that the court give the mother of his two children a maximum prison term.

    Osipova said she plans to renounce her US citizenship and return to Russia.

    The prosecutor asked the judge to include the clause that Osipova will do everything possible to return her children to the United States in the verdict, and the judge agreed. He did not take into account Osipova’s statement that she is unable to return the children because now they are under Russian jurisdiction.

    Days before the sentencing, Osipova-Mobley had asked Judge Eric Megren to recuse himself from the case due to bias.

    In a motion filed on Tuesday, her lawyers argued that Melgren violated the code of conduct for US judges when he suggested in an email to Osipova-Mobley's mother that the sentence would be more favourable if Mobley returns her children to the United States before the hearing.

    READ MORE: US Court Rules Osipova to Be Released When Her Children Arrive in US - Lawyer

    Osipova-Mobley, who has both Russian and US citizenship, left Wichita, Kansas in 2014 with one child from her first marriage and another from Air Force recruiter Brian Mobley, according to prosecutors. She gave birth to a third child after arriving in Russia. US authorities arrested Osipova-Mobley in 2017 shortly after she returned to the United States in order to change child support arrangements.

    Osipova became a naturalized US citizen in 2004, and ten years later fled to her Russia with her two children after suffering abuse at the hands of her husband, a US citizen. After her spouse filed for divorce and accused her of taking their common child to Russia without his consent, a US court granted him full custody over the couple's two youngest children.

    Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov has rejected the plea by Kansas lawmaker Ron Estes to reunite the younger children with their father in the United States, saying Osipova-Mobley has been a victim of "discrimination and psychological pressure" in the US criminal case.

    READ MORE: Russian Citizen Butina to Spend Remaining Term in Tallahassee Prison - Lawyer

    Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in April that the children, now ages 4, 6 and 16, are living with their relatives in Kaliningrad. A Russian court ruled earlier that the children should remain in Russia. The father of the oldest son is reportedly not seeking custody of his child.

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