Russian actress convicted by French court claims she was framed up

MOSCOW, August 11 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian actress Natalia Zakharova ,convicted in France on arson charges and who spent eight months in prison there, insists on her rehabilitation and wants to regain her reputation of an honest person. “I will press ahead for my rehabilitation after being convicted on a framed-up case,” Zakharova told a press conference in Moscow on Thursday.

Two days ago Zakharova was released from Kostroma prison after she had been pardoned by the Russian president. Zakharova’s a lawyer Alexei Pershin turned over a complaint to the Moscow city court claiming that Zakhrova’s arrest was illegitimate.

Zakharova claims that she was ” framed up” in revenge for her efforts for a reunion with her own daughter she lost 13 years ago after Zakharova divorced her husband- a citizen of France.

Zakharova said she would insist that the French authorities find out the whereabouts of her daughter. “I experience both tremendous joy and pain because my daughter is not with me,” the actress told the press conference.

She saw her daughter last in France on August 1, 2009 when Zakharova could speak to her daughter tet- a- tet for an hour. Zakharova said her daughter, who asked Zakharova to take her back to Russia, was in ” a psychological deadlock,” which was confirmed by Zakharova’s friend, a psychologist , who said Zakharova’s daughter was in “bad psychological condition”

Natalia Zakharova heard nothing of her daughter since. She said she was both concerned and frightened to see a stubborn attitude assumed by the French authorities who do not want Zakharova to know where her daughter is. The daughter is 15 years old now, including 13 years when she was separated from her mother.

After the couple divorced the French court ruled that the daughter should live with her father, a French citizen, whom Zakharova accused of being a drug addict and who beat his daughter, who had to live who either with foster parents or stayed at an orphanage.

Last May Zakharova arrived in France in the hope of a reunion with her daughter. But the actress was arrested in the entrance to the court building, convicted and spent four months in French prison before she was extradited to Russia on an agreement reached by the Russian and the French sides. Until August 9 Zakharova had served her prison term in Russian prison in Kostroma.


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