US court hears arguments in ex-Lithuanian judge’s case

CHICAGO (AP) — Arguments before an appeals court over a request to halt the extradition of an ex-Lithuanian legislator jailed in Chicago focused partly on whether an anti-pedophilia movement she headed in Lithuania qualifies as a rebellion.

Neringa Venckiene (vehn-KEE’-ehn-nay) faces charges in Lithuania that include submitting false reports regarding claims she made about the existence of a ring of influential pedophiles in Lithuania.

Her attorney, Barry Spevack, told the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday Venckiene qualifies for protections barring extraditions for alleged crimes stemming from political upheaval. He said prosecuting her was Lithuania’s bid “to cut off the head of the insurrection.”

A U.S. government attorney told the three-judge panel that stretched the definition of an uprising way too far.

The 7th Circuit will likely take several weeks to rule.

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