Italians Take Adopted Son To Italy
By Antonio Lupher
Special to The St. Petersburg Times
MOSCOW — An Italian couple flew home with their newly adopted son late Wednesday after prosecutors determined they had not abused the boy on a Barnaul-Moscow flight in early June.
Sheremetyevo Airport police had briefly detained the adoptive parents, Giovanni Fiori and Giovanna Pintus of Sassari, Italy, after a flight attendant accused them of physically abusing Kirill Pushkin, 7, who lived at an orphanage in Barnaul, in the Altai region.
“An investigation opened to examine the child abuse allegations was closed due to a lack of evidence,” Sheremetyevo police spokeswoman Tatyana Bondareva said Thursday. “Witness testimonies and the findings of experts led prosecutors to determine that the accusations were groundless,” she said.
The couple’s lawyer, Sergei Kadyrov, said doctors “found only a single scratch, which was at least 10 days old and which Kirill got after falling when riding his bike in the Barnaul orphanage playground.”
Kadyrov said that the mother told a court hearing that the boy had become agitated on the flight and ran around the cabin because he was tired and afraid of flying.
“Pintus sat the boy in his seat and calmed him down. He eventually fell asleep and remained calm for the rest of the flight,” he said. “All the other witnesses — including fellow flight attendants, mechanics and a co-pilot — corroborated this.”
He said the boy was reunited with his parents last weekend and the three flew to Italy on Wednesday night.
In early June, police took a newly adopted boy away from a U.S. couple after a woman complained that she had seen them physically abuse him in a Moscow hotel cafe. Prosecutors determined about two weeks later that the claim was without merit and returned the boy to the parents.