Russian actress sentenced in France seeks pardon from Medvedev

Russian actress Natalia Zakharova, who is serving a three-year sentence for setting fire to her French ex-husband’s apartment after he took away their daughter, on Thursday asked President Dmitry Medvedev for a pardon, the actress’ lawyer Alexei Pershin said.

Zakharova, who has been fighting for custody of her daughter for more than 10 years, was convicted by a French court but was transferred to Russia to serve her sentence after the approval of a Russian request filed on the basis of the Russian-French Convention of 2003.

“She applied for a pardon today,” Parshin said on Thursday. “She is only guilty of extreme love for her daughter.”

Medvedev has a right of pardon even though Zakharova was sentenced in France.

The actress married Patrick Ouari in 1993 and left Russia for France. In 1995, Zakharova gave birth to a daughter, Masha, but the couple divorced soon afterward. In 2004, Zakharova was deprived of her parental rights.

The actress left France in 2006, and in the same year a Russian court recognized her parental rights. On April 26, however, a French court again deprived Zakharova of her parental rights, a decision Pershin called “illegal.”

Zakharova was arrested on charges of arson soon after returning to France in January 2010 to take part in court hearings on her parental rights.

MOSCOW, May 26 (RIA Novosti)

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