The Moscow City Court upheld on Wednesday a refusal by prosecutors to issue an arrest warrant for a U.S. couple convicted of the death of their adopted Russian son.
Michael and Nanette Craver were found guilty by a Pennsylvania court in November of the involuntarily manslaughter of their adopted Russian son, Ivan, and sentenced to 16 months in jail. As the couple had already spent about 18 months behind bars they were released immediately. Ivan had over 80 injuries on his body when he was found.
The court dismissed the appeal of the aggrieved party, Ivan’s aunt, and decided not to open a new criminal case.
“International law permits holding a person criminally responsible for a second time, if a guilty verdict was issued against him by another country,” a lawyer for the plaintiff said.
Since 1991, a total of 17 adopted Russian children have died worldwide as a result of beatings or negligence, according to official Russian statistics. The issue is often brought up by Russian politicians and there have been calls for bans on foreign adoptions of Russian children.
Some 2,000 children are killed every year in Russia by adults.