Prosecutor General's Office deems case against Cravers in Russia unlawful
MOSCOW, November 28, RAPSI. The Prosecutor General's Office has deemed it unlawful to open a criminal case in Russia against Michael and Nanette Craver and to place them on the international wanted list. The Cravers earlier adopted a boy from the country, who later died of a serious head wound in a U.S. hospital.
According to the prosecutor's office, a guilty verdict has already been passed in the United States and a Russian court cannot try the guilty parties twice for one and the same crime.
"By law, they are not subject to prosecution in Russia," the prosecutor's office said.
"Placing them on the wanted list is likewise unlawful as there is no evidence that they are hiding from the Russian authorities or may continue their criminal activity," the prosecutor's office added.
There are also no grounds for issuing an arrest warrant for the Cravers in absentia, it said.
The Presnensky District Court began to consider the Investigative Committee's request to issue an arrest warrant for the Cravers in absentia on Monday.
The committee had already placed the Cravers on the international wanted list.
Nathaniel Craver (Vanya Skorobogatov) from the Chelyabinsk region died on August 24, 2009 in a U.S. hospital from a head injury. The numerous other injuries on his body should be considered torture, the prosecution said during the trial. Doctors found over 80 injuries on the boy's body.
The Court of York County, Pennsylvania sentenced the Cravers on November 18 to 16 months in prison for involuntary manslaughter in their adopted son's death.
However, they were released immediately after the trial as they had spent over 1.5 years in prison.
The seven-year-old boy's death sparked public outrage in Russia and the United States.
The Foreign Ministry expressed outrage over the sentence and called it inadequate.
After the "provocatively lenient" sentence, Investigative Committee head Alexander Bastrykin issued instructions "to accelerate the investigation in order to strengthen the evidence of the Russian boy's premeditated murder committed with grave cruelty," the committee reported.