Thursday, June 05, 2014

Court rules teenager can be jailed for theft on the basis of his teeth and large genitals

A 13-year-old boy detained on suspicion of theft has become the subject of a biological dispute after a Russian court judged him old enough to be held legally accountable for his actions on the basis of his teeth and large genitals.

Tomas, a Hungarian national born in Ukraine, went to Moscow with his aunt in March and was arrested the same month after police accused him of stealing a mobile phone, a charge Tomas denies.

Following a medical examination of his teeth and genitals, prison doctors concluded that the boy was between 16 to 17 years old, allowing the court to judge him as an adult and put him behind bars.

However, Tomas' relatives say he was only 12-years-old at the time of his arrest, a claim supported by his Ukrainian documentation, which was checked when he crossed the Russian border in March.The regional prison service has ordered a review of the boy's case. According to Article 20 of the Criminal Code, the age of criminal responsibility in Russia is 16 - lowered to 14 years only for serious offences such as murder or rape.

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