MOSCOW, August 6 (RAPSI) – The First Appeals Court of General Jurisdiction overturned house arrest imposed on CEO of the European Surrogacy Center Vladislav Melnikov and three other defendants in a case over trafficking of surrogate mothers’ children and detained them, according to the court’s press service.

Melnikov, Taras Ashitkov, Yuliana Ivanova and Lillia Panaioti have been ordered to be placed in detention for 3 months.

They are charged with human trafficking committed by an organized group.

In January 2020, 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.