10 Nov 2017 16:59

Moscow to seek prosecution of convicted Irkutsk French center ex-director who fled to France

MOSCOW. Nov 10 (Interfax) - Moscow is in touch with French authorities in relation to the criminal prosecution of a former director of a French language and culture center in Irkutsk (Alliance Francaise d'Irkoutsk), who was sentenced in Russia in absentia to 15 years of imprisonment, but left for France illegally, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"Yesterday [Yoann] Barbereau turned up in France and openly declared that he left Russia illegally, which is also a criminal offense. For their part, Russian authorities intend to take all necessary measures to hold Barbereau to account for what he did. We are in contact with the French side over this issue," the ministry's department of information and press said in a comment on its website on Friday.

"On September 11, 2016, Barbereau disappeared from his flat in Irkutsk, where he had been under house arrest. On December 26, 2016, the city's Kirovsky district court handed down a combined prison sentence of 15 years of imprisonment at a high-security correctional institution and a six-year ban from teaching. The Russian Prosecutor General's Office placed the Frenchman on the wanted list, including international one," the comment said.

The criminal case against Barbereau was opened on January 28, 2015, after an anonymous posting on the Internet of pornographic pictures and video involving minors, the ministry said.

"Investigators also obtained data that he committed acts of a sexual nature with a vulnerable underage teenager," the Foreign Ministry said.