Russians focus on York County, Craver hearing

Date: 2010-04-30
Source: ydr.com

The preliminary hearing for parents charged in connection with a 7-year-old's death coincided with a meeting between U.S. and Russian officials on adoption policy.

By JEFF FRANTZ

People across Russia turned their attention to the Carroll Township municipal building to learn the results of Michael and Nanette Craver's preliminary hearing Thursday.

Two representatives from the Russian Consulate General sat in the back as District Justice Richard Thomas ruled that the Cravers must stand trail on charges they killed the seven-year-old boy they adopted from Russia in 2003.

Reporters from three Russian television stations were there to report the news back across the planet.

This happened the same day Russian and U.S. State Department officials met in Moscow to discuss ways the U.S. could better protect adopted children living here. That meeting came after reports that as many as 15 children adopted from Russia have died in the United States since the mid-1990s.

The tension has increased since Torry Hansen, of Tennessee, put her adopted son on a plane back to Russia, saying he was "mentally unstable," said Alexey Veselovskiy of Russia's NTV, who was covering the hearing Thursday.

"Russia is following the case very closely," Veselovskiy said.

Russians were particularly disturbed by allegations that the Cravers had neglected Nathaniel Craver well before his fatal injuries, said Andrey Cherkasov, the Washington bureau reporter for Russia's Channel 1.

Sergey Logachev, the Deputy Counsel of the Russian Consulate General, made the trip to Carroll Township from his office in New York. The Russian government will continue to follow the case, Logachev said, and what it learns could impact its discussions with the United States.

Thursday's meeting in Moscow went well, Logachev said. The Russians are asking for an agreement that would guarantee local governments would check in with adoptive parents to make sure the reports they file are accurate, and adopted children are safe.

Another meeting is scheduled for next month, Logachev said.

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