Court of Appeals upholds Rimma Salonen’s sentence in abduction case
The Turku Court of Appeals has decided to uphold the sentence received by Russian citizen Rimma Salonen for abducting her son Anton Salonen from his Finnish father and taking him secretly to Russia.
A year ago, the Pirkanmaa District Court handed Rimma Salonen a suspended prison sentence of 18 months.
However, the Court of Appeals halved the compensation of EUR 20,000 the District Court had ordered Rimma Salonen to pay to her son for mental suffering.
The Court of Appeal ruled that EUR 10,000 would be sufficient.
Rimma Salonen and the then four-year-old Anton left for Russia in March 2008 without informing the boy’s father of the trip.
However, after the couple’s marriage had broken down, custody was awarded to the boy’s father Paavo Salonen by the District Court in Tampere, prior to the mother's actions in taking the child to Russia.
Mother and boy lived in Russia for just over a year before Paavo Salonen tracked them down.
This time the father took the child to Finland with him, hidden in the back of a car driven by a Finnish consular official.
When Rimma Salonen returned to Finland to meet her son in the summer of 2009, she surrended to the police voluntarily and was detained.
In October 2009. Salonen was found guilty of illegally taking her son to Russia, away from her former husband, and of keeping him there for over a year.
The story, in itself a sadly typical one of cross-border custody disputes, gained a good deal of column-inches in Finland.
It received a great deal more publicity in Russia itself, where feelings ran high and the Kremlin even issued a diplomatic note to the Finnish Foreign Ministry over the rescue of the child by the Finnish diplomat.
Once again, the coverage on all sides ran up against the problems of media reports coloured by national interest and by the Finnish authorities' inability to comment publicly on matters that were subject to court action.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Russian mother in international child abduction case back in Finland (3.8.2009)
Anton Salonen´s mother does not dare to return to Finland (22.5.2009)
Russia sends diplomatic note over Anton Salonen incident (22.5.2009)
Something had to be done, says diplomat who brought abducted boy back to Finland (22.5.2009)
Rimma Salonen gets suspended sentence for child abduction (14.10.2009)
Bäckman apologises to Paavo Salonen over comments on child custody affair (23.10.2009)
Anton Incident (Wikipedia)