Lithuania’s top court upholds rulings in Gatayevs case

Malikas ir Khadizhat Gatajevai
"Lietuvos žinios"

“The courts have ruled that both foster parents abused the victim and therefore made minor impairment to her health, i.e., committed the incriminated criminal acts. It was stated following the testimony of the victims, conclusions of forensic experts as well as the testimonies of people who witnessed and confirmed the circumstances of use of certain physical violence,” the court said.

The Supreme Court ruled that the courts of lower instance did not make any violations when hearing the case and issuing the sentences to the defendants.

After hearing the Gatayevs’ appeals, the top court issued the final prison sentences of 6 months and 21 days. The pair was acquitted of having made death threats to the victim.

The Supreme Court’s ruling is final and binding.

In June, 2009, a Kaunas court found the couple guilty of violent treatment of their foster children, death threats and self-willed conduct. They were each sentenced to 10 months in prison.

In January, 2014, a Klaipėda court softened the punishment and stated that the punishment has already been received after the pre-trial detention was included.

Human rights activists said the case possibly contained violations, questioning the role of the Lithuanian State Security Department and possible participation of Russian services.

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