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Russia calls for full probe into death of adopted baby in U.S.


Russia calls for full probe into death of adopted baby in U.S.

July, 15 2008


MOSCOW, July 15 (RIA Novosti) - Russia hopes U.S. authorities will conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding last week's death of a baby adopted from a Russian orphanage, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

The 21-month-old infant died in the town of Herndon in the U.S. state of Virginia last Tuesday after being left by his 49-year-old foster father for about five hours in the back of a car, in searing heat.

The ministry said in a statement: "We hope that American law enforcement authorities and the court will exhaustively look into all the causes and circumstances surrounding this tragedy and take a just decision. We also hope that the relevant U.S. social services will draw the necessary conclusions from this."

The father, Miles Harrison, the managing director of a real estate consulting firm in the town of Herndon, is to be formally charged with manslaughter after he is discharged from hospital where he was admitted with shock. Harrison could face ten years in prison if convicted.

The child, born with the name Dmitry Yakolev and renamed Chase Harrison, had been living in a children's home in northwest Russia's Pskov Region until three months ago.

After the incident, Russian authorities banned European Adoption Consultants Inc., the agency responsible for placing the child with the Harrisons, for failing to immediately report the death. Two other agencies also had their Russian licenses revoked.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said: "We have repeatedly called on the American side to sign a special bilateral adoption agreement. Such an international legal document would allow us more effectively to control the fate of Russian children taken out of the country by foster parents. We will ensure that this issue is included in the agenda of Russian-American dialogue."

2008 Jul 15