U.S. to Cooperate With Russia in Child Abuse Probes
MOSCOW, February 8 (RIA Novosti) – The United States has expressed its readiness to cooperate with Russia’s Investigative Committee (IC) in legal cases involving violence against Russian children adopted by Americans, committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said on Friday.
In the course of a working meeting on Wednesday, Investigative Committee officials handed a letter from IC head Alexander Bastrykin to US Justice Department representatives, Markin said, adding US Attorney General Eric Holder received it later that day.
“As a result of the working meeting, the US side stated its readiness to cooperate on crimes committed against minors adopted from Russia,” Markin said.
Bastrykin recently invited Holder to work together in investigating such crimes, Markin said.
The Investigative Committee is currently looking into cases of alleged violence against 13 Russian children adopted in the US.
The Kremlin introduced the so-called Dima Yakovlev law on January 1, which includes a ban on Americans adopting Russian minors, in response to Washington’s approval of the so-called Magnitsky Act, which introduced sanctions against Russian officials suspected of human rights abuses.
Russian officials blame US adoptive parents for the deaths of at least 19 of those children. The adoption ban is named after Dima Yakovlev (known also by his American name, Chase Harrison), a Russian toddler who died of heatstroke in 2008 after his American adoptive father accidentaly left him in an overheated car for hours.
More than 60,000 Russian children have been adopted by American families in the last 20 years, including 962 last year, according to US State Department figures.