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Old July 22nd, 2006, 06:48 PM  
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Name: Kodie
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Default No plan to send Russian diplomat to Canada to face charges

Russia has refused to return to Canada a former diplomat who has been charged with drugging and sexually assaulting two young men, says a spokesman for the Russian Embassy in Ottawa.

"There is no current plan to send Valery Fomin to Canada so he can face the charges against him," said Alexander Repkin, adding that the diplomat's security will be in danger if he is returned to Canada.

Fomin, 53, was charged June 9 with two counts of sexual assault and two counts of causing a person to take a stupefying drug, reports Ottawa's Le Droit newspaper.

The assaults allegedly happened in Fomin's apartment last February after he met the men at a casino across the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Que.
He was posted to the Russian Embassy in Ottawa at the time of the incident.
Fomin returned to Russia before the charges were laid. But Repkin said he returned to deal with urgent family problems, not to avoid the Canadian justice system.

Fomin had diplomatic immunity at the time of the alleged crimes and police say they do not have the right to apprehend him. There is no extradition treaty between Russia and Canada.

He was the latest in a string of foreign diplomats to face legal troubles while on duty in Canada. The offences have run the gamut from parking and traffic tickets to more serious charges under the Criminal Code.

In January 2001, Andrei Knyazev struck two pedestrians while he was allegedly driving while impaired. One of the two women died from her injuries, while the other was severely injured.

Knyazev was eventually sentenced by a Russian court to four years in a labour camp.

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