Finland will not extradite Anton Salonen’s father to Russia
Russia calls for extradition on grounds of “a crime having been committed on Russian soil”
Finland will not extradite Paavo Salonen to Russia to be prosecuted in a Russian court of law for bringing his son Anton back from Russia to Finland in the boot of a Finnish diplomat’s car last spring.
It is not possible for Finland to extradite its citizens to Russia on suspicion that a crime has been committed.
According to the news agency Itar-Tass, the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation is planning on demanding the extradition of Paavo Salonen to Russia, where he could face charges.
“The Public Prosecutor’s Office will demand Rimma Salonen’s husband’s extradition, for a crime was committed on the Russian soil”, the Public Prosecutor’s Office representative Vladimir Markin told the news agency.
Russia considers it a crime that Paavo Salonen brought his son back to Finland clandestinely in the boot of a car driven by a Finnish diplomat last spring.
Finland and Russia both belong to the European Council agreement on extradition of people on account of a crime.
“The contracting parties have the right to refuse to extradite their own citizens, however”, explains Ministerial Counsellor Merja Norros from the Ministry of Justice.
“On the basis of this agreement a Finnish citizen will never be extradited.”
Likewise, Russia never extradites its citizens to be prosecuted in Finland. When it comes to the EU countries and the Nordic countries the Finnish attitude is not quite so resolute.
Paavo Salonen’s lawyer Riitta Rauhala is also astonished by the extradition request.
“If there is already a probated decision by a Russian court, according to which Paavo Salonen has the right to acquire the custody of his child, then surely Russia honours its own legal system”, Rauhala says.
On Tuesday Russian-born Rimma Salonen was found guilty of illegally taking her son to Russia, away from her Finnish former husband, and keeping him there for over a year. The Tampere District Court saw this as unlawful isolation of the child from his own environment.
The court decided on an 18-month suspended sentence for a number of reasons, including the fact that the illegal act lasted for more than a year.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Suspected child abductor Rimma Salonen released, banned from travel (4.8.2009)
Rimma Salonen gets suspended sentence for child abduction (14.10.2009)
Russian mother charged with abducting her son (16.9.2009)
Something had to be done, says diplomat who brought abducted boy back to Finland (22.5.2009)
Russian mother of abducted Anton Salonen astonished at her treatment in Finland (19.8.2009)