Inmate wanted to serve his time in Russia

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MINNEAPOLIS, March 15 (UPI) -- A Russian national serving a 40-year sentence in a Minnesota prison has had his petition to be transferred to a Russian facility denied, officials said.

Pytor Shmelev was convicted of murdering his wife in 2001. He asked to be transferred to Russia, citing an international treaty that allows for such moves, and he said sending him away could save the state $32,800 a year, the Star Tribune reported Sunday.


The Minneapolis newspaper reported Shmelev is just one of nearly two dozen foreign nationals in Minnesota prisons who have had their requests to be transferred to their homelands denied.

The state Department of Corrections policy has been that serious offenders should serve their terms in the state where they committed their crimes.

"There is no assurance that the sentence imposed by a Minnesota court will be administered similarly in an offender's home country," said Corrections Commissioner Joan Fabian. "I support the community expectation that violent offenders or serious drug traffickers should serve their entire prison sentence in Minnesota before returning to freedom in their home country."

In six years as commissioner, Fabian has denied 20 of 26 applications for international transfer, the newspaper said.


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