Bastrykin Vows to Enlist Interpol to Prosecute U.S. Adoptive Parents

Investigative Committee head Alexander Bastrykin said Russia will enlist Interpol to prosecute U.S. citizens responsible for the deaths of adopted Russian children.

"If the U.S. ignores these crimes, we will be tough on those individuals, get them on Interpol's wanted list and bring them to justice," Bastrykin said at a conference in St. Petersburg on Wednesday, Interfax reported.

Bastrykin also described the U.S. Magnitsky list, a blacklist of Russian officials suspected of human rights violations, as retaliation for Russia's initiation of court proceedings against U.S. adoptive parents who've violated the rights of adopted Russian children.

"Today, the U.S. is preparing the Magnitsky list, and I am under discussion for the list. The reason for [my possible inclusion] is that we've recently opened 22 criminal cases against U.S. adoptive parents. If an offense is committed against citizens of the Russian Federation, then we have the right to do this: a reaction from the state should follow," Bastrykin said.

Earlier this month, a U.S. Embassy official said that the blacklist of Russian officials to face sanctions under the Magnitsky Act would be published in March.

Bastrykin's comments come days after a Texas court decided not to press charges against the U.S. adoptive parents of Maxim Kuzmin, a 3-year-old who died on Jan. 21, about three months after being adopted from a Russian orphanage.

The Texas court said there were no grounds for the prosecution of Allen and Laura Shatto, Kuzmin's adoptive parents, and ruled that the boy's death was an accident.

Pavel Astakhov, Russia's children rights ombudsman, has said that Kuzmin died as a result of a "savage beating" by his adoptive mother.

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