Finnish court refuses to return child to Russian mother
ST. PETERSBURG, July 17 (RAPSI) - Finland's Supreme Court has ruled that Anton Salonen, who was smuggled out of Russia in the trunk of a diplomat's car in 2009, will stay with his father in Finland, Finnish human rights activist Johan Backman told RIA Novosti.
His mother, Rimma Salonen, has been waging legal battles for the past few years to overturn the Finnish authorities' decision which made the boy's father, Paavo Salonen, 70, his only legal guardian.
"We have learned today that Finland's Supreme Court has taken the final decision and has refused to send the boy back to his mother, Rimma Salonen," Backman said.
He said that Rimma had filed a new suit with a first-instance court to regain her parental rights over her son, who is currently living with his father in Finland and who has dual Russian-Finnish citizenship.
Salonen's case was one of the first public scandals over Russian-Finnish children. Anton's mother took him to Russia in 2008, but his father smuggled him back to Finland in the trunk of a diplomat's car in 2009.
Rimma Salonen was deprived of her parental rights by a Finnish court and received a suspended sentence for abducting her son after her divorce with Paavo. Paavo Salonen and diplomat Simo Pietilainen escaped criminal liability in Finland.
The Russian Foreign Ministry and Children's Rights Commissioner Pavel Astakhov spared no effort to help Rimma and her son, whose Russian citizenship has not been recognized by Finnish authorities.
Paavo Salonen has taken Russia and Astakhov to the European Court of Human Rights to force them to stop commenting on the Anton's case.