Anti-pedophile group chief requests inquiry into ombudsman's activities
MOSCOW, March 14 - RAPSI. Sergei Zhuk, the leader of the Head Hunters informal anti-pedophile community, has asked the Prosecutor General's Office to look into the activity of Children's Rights Ombudsman Pavel Astakhov, and to open seven criminal cases against him, Izvestia reports on Thursday.
Zhuk has accused Astakhov of slander, negligence, plotting a cyber attack and fomenting hatred. He has also asked the office to identify the individuals involved in Astakhov's crimes.
In his statement, the leader of the anti-pedophile movement said that the request was submitted as a result of the scandal surrounding the death of a Russian boy, Maksim Kuzmin, who was adopted in the United States, as well as the ombudsman's attempts to thwart the activities of his community.
Astakhov announced Kuzmin's death on February 18. The three-year-old was adopted by a Texan couple last fall. Astakhov tweeted that the child had been given strong "psychotropic substances" and was badly beaten before he died in a hospital on January 21. Later, US officials announced that the death was accidental.
Astakhov was strongly criticized by the media and the public. Yabloko party activists initiated an online petition for his resignation.
Demoсrator, the webpage containing the petition, was attacked by hackers. The website moderators and Head Hunters suggested that Astakhov was responsible for the attack.
Last February, Zhuk was charged with slander for comments made on his blog, in which he accused Astakhov of incompetency. Zhuk cited his sources in the Federal Security Service (FSB) in his claims that Astakhov, who previously worked for the service, used his contacts to open the case.