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Russia "concerned" over death ruling of boy adopted by Texas couple

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Russia "concerned" over death ruling of boy adopted by Texas couple

Post  Panda on Sat 2 Mar - 11:58

2 March 2013 Last updated at 11:42


Russia 'concerned' over Max Shatto Texas death

Max Shatto (L), and his brother
Kristopher, were adopted from the same orphanage
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Russia's foreign ministry has
expressed concern after US authorities ruled the death of an adopted
three-year-old boy was an accident.

Max Shatto, adopted from a Russian orphanage, died on 21 January, shortly
after a Russian ban on US adoptions.

Four Texas doctors reviewing the case found that bruises on his body were
self-inflicted, officials said, adding the investigation was continuing.

Protesters in Moscow were set to call for a halt to all foreign

The rally on Saturday, involving pro-Kremlin activists, came two months after
tens of thousands of people joined a demonstration against the ban on US
adoptions of Russian orphans.
'Torn artery'
Max Shatto, born Maksim Kuzmin, and his younger brother Kristopher were
adopted from an orphanage in north-west Russia last year by Alan and Laura
Shatto, who live in Gardendale, Texas.

Continue reading the main story
“Start Quote

The triumph of justice?”
End Quote Pavel Astakhov
Russian children's commissioner

Laura Shatto said she had found him unconscious outside
the family's home and he died later in hospital.

When he died, Russia's children's commissioner Pavel Astakhov alleged he had
been murdered by his adoptive mother.

But the Shattos' lawyer said the toddler had suffered from behavioural issues
and occasionally butted his head on objects or other people.

According to preliminary results of a post mortem examination released on
Friday, the child died accidentally from a torn artery in his abdomen and had
bruises consistent with injuring himself.

"I had four doctors agree that this is the result of an accident, District
Attorney Bobby Bland said. "We have to take that as fact."

No drugs or medicines had been found in his body and the coroner said he had
a mental disorder that caused him to hurt himself.

The Russian foreign ministry said "it is with concern that Moscow has studied
reports that, according to an official theory... Maksim Kuzmin died
'accidentally from a torn artery in his abdomen'".

In the statement, the foreign ministry drew attention to the lack of
medicines found in his body, even though the adoptive parents said they had been
treating him with "a strong psychotropic medication".
'Big politics'
Russia's investigations committee has asked the US authorities to provide
documents surrounding the case, including a report by forensic pathologists, as
part of its own criminal investigation, Interfax news agency reports.

Mr Astakhov also questioned the Texas authorities' findings, going on Twitter
on Saturday to describe the boy as a "victim of big politics". "The triumph of
justice?" he tweeted.

However, he told Ekho Moskvy Radio that the results were still preliminary
and the Texas authorities were still "considering the possibility of instituting
charges over negligent treatment of the child and involuntary manslaughter".

Last month, Maz Shatto's mother Yulia Kuzmina, went on Russian state TV to
complain that she had no idea her children had been taken to the US. She said
she wanted to raise her surviving son, although it later emerged she was a
recovering alcoholic.

Max Shatto's death increased tensions between Moscow and the US, which were
already high after the Russian ban on US adoptions.

The adoption bill was introduced in response to the US Magnitsky Act, which
blacklisted Russian officials accused of human rights abuses.

It was named after an anti-corruption lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in
prison in 2009, aged 37.

He was detained on suspicion of tax evasion after reporting what he described
as a web of corruption involving Russian tax officials.
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