Arrest of wanted defendant in surrogacy kids trade case in absentia upheld
MOSCOW, December 9 (RAPSI) – The Moscow City Court on Wednesday upheld a lower court’s decision to issue an arrest warrant in absentia for Konstantin Svitnev, a defendant in a case over trafficking of surrogate mothers’ children, lawyer Igor Trunov told RAPSI.
The man is to be placed in detention for two months after his arrest in Russia or extradition. Earlier, he was put on the international wanted list.
In July, the court detained CEO of the European Surrogacy Center Vladislav Melnikov as part of the case.
In total, seven defendants are in detention. One more accused woman is under house arrest.
In January, law enforcement found a body of a dead newborn boy in a flat in the Moscow Region’s town of Odintsovo. There were also three other kids there along with a nurse. Investigators believe surrogate mothers gave birth to the children to transfer them later to foreign parents.
However, defense lawyers believe that investigators failed to discover cause-effect links between actions’ of the doctors and the baby’s death. Moreover, they state that current legislation does not prohibit citizens to become parents using vitro fertilization and surrogate services.