The Supreme Court of Russia has sustained last year's verdict the Volgograd regional court announced for Nadezhda Fratti, an Italian citizen of Russian origin, and her three accomplices, who had been involved in an illegal child adoption business.
The court has thus dismissed the appeal filed by the women's attorneys, who insisted that the verdict be cancelled and the criminal case dropped "in the lack of corpus delicti." On December 30th, 2002, the Volgograd Court found Nadezhda Fratti guilty of bribing officials in the period between 1994 and 1998, forgery of documents, and falsification of circumstances involved in the criminal case. She was sentenced for 7 years conditionally with a 5 years' probation period.
Two of Fratti's accomplices, Valentina Geruseva, a former educational committee inspector, and Tatiana Chaplina, the head of an orphanage in Volgograd's Kirovsky district, were found guilty of accepting bribes and sentenced to a 4 years' probation period each. The third accomplice, the head doctor of a children's home in the district centre of Mikhailovka, was sentenced to 3 years conditionally.