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Frenchman at centre of Siberian 'child porn' case flees house arrest and 'is now in Mongolia'

By The Siberian Times reporter
30 September 2016

Director of Alliance Francaise cultural organisation in Irkutsk 'removed his electronic tagging device and fled'.

Yoann Barbereau was held for 71 days in detention, then placed under observation in a psychiatric hospital, and later under house arrest. Picture: Facebook

Yoann Barbereau, 38, was detained in Siberia on suspicion of distributing child pornography in February 2015, after a single picture of him naked with his daughter Elisa, 5, was posted on the internet.

He was held for 71 days in detention, then placed under observation in a psychiatric hospital, and later under house arrest. 

The case led to an international outcry with his supporters alleging he has been framed and is the victim of 'preposterous and scandalous accusations' which could be easily disproved. 

The accusations were based on 'fabricated evidence and falsified documents without regard for the most elementary principles of legality', according to a petition calling for his release.

Cryptic message

Ten days later he posted cryptic messages on Facebook suggesting he was safe. Picture: Facebook

He is believed to have fled on 11 September as his trial was underway.

A spokesperson for the Federal Penitentiary Service, Olga Khindanova, told: 'There was no signal from the special electronic bracelet, designed for people under house arrest. 

'Our staff went to his apartment and found that the accused was not there. There was no bracelet and no signals. Most likely, he destroyed it.'

Barbereau's lawyer refused to give any comment, but later feared he could have been kidnapped.

Yoann Barbereau and his sister

Yoann Barbereau with his sister Elina in Irkutsk. Picture: Facebook

Ten days later he posted cryptic messages on Facebook suggesting he was safe. Then rumours started to appear that he was in Ulaanbaatar, the Mongolian capital, a distance of around 525 kilometres from Irkutsk. TASS later reported that its sources said he was at the French embassy in Ulaanbaatar.

'Convinced of not being able to escape a conviction as great as it unfair, Yoann fled Irkutsk,' said a message from supporters. 

It is not clear how he made the journey or whether he had any assistance in fleeing Russia from the French authorities. Earlier there had been appeals to French president Francois Hollande to intervene and demand his freedom. 

Message in support

Yoann's supporters hope that he is now in safety. Picture: Facebook

His legal team say the claim is 'absurd', and that there is proof that Barbereau was not at his home when the account from which the upload originated was opened.

'Thus, Yoann Barbereau cannot physically be the individual who uploaded the incriminating images. He is evidently the victim of this act,' said a statement. The main offending picture is 'a banal scene of family life', according to the cultural official's supporters.

He and his young daughter - believed to be under seven - 'are separated by more than a metre' and the image 'has no sexual character'. Among 10,000 images confiscated from his storage hard drive 'no single other photo was found' with pornographic content, it was claimed. 

Daria with daughter

Yoann's wife Daria with daughter Elisa in Nantes. Picture: Facebook

The Frenchman was supported by his Russian wife Daria, 30, who accused the authorities of 'cruelty', and insisted he was innocent. 'They ruined our family and made the kid unhappy,' she said.

However it later emerged that she had divorced her husband seven months after the accusations were made, and now lives in London. The child is being cared for by her parents in southern Russia. The parents used a media interview to make lurid claims against their former son-in-law. 

If his whereabouts are confirmed, the Russian authorities are likely to seek his extradition. 

Comments (2)

Somewhat fishy story, isn't it? :)
Let me see, France have their Alliance Francaise network spanning over 137 countries, Germany have Goethe Institute, and China have Confucius Institute, where the latter has been accused for "interesting activities", hmm... the guy is apparently an average Joe on which even "corrupt Russian authorities" couldn't make many Rubles on through extortion, leaving us at...? Yeah, we are going to stay tuned here with popcorn and everything. :)
Vaeltaja, Finland
07/10/2016 06:08
1
0
I'd say he got help from the inside to escape, and I would also say there are pedophiles within the forces & authorities, teachers, lawyers, etc; who are very good at covering it up. Why, do I say this, because they are protected.This is the case throughout the world but especially in countries that have one law for the rich & high ups & a law for the ordinary Joe-Soaps. This is especially true in Russian Orphanages, and nothing gets done or investigated until stories turn up in the press. I am glad to see Siberian Time has always let these stories be known. But there are many others that never get any publicity because they are hidden or covered up.

This Frenchman, should have (if innocent) rode out the case till the verdict came through. Now he'll always have the tag to his name & will be under suspicion where-ever he goes. Time will tell if he is guilty or not, as pedophiles keep offending. Let's hope for all children's sake, that he is telling the "Truth" about himself.
Jaker, Dundalk
03/10/2016 09:39
1
0
1

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