Judge in Chicago temporarily halts Lithuanian’s extradition

May 1, 2018

This 2012 photo provided by Juozas Valiušaitis shows Neringa Venckiene in Lithuania. Venckiene, a former Lithuanian judge and parliamentarian jailed in Chicago at her homeland's request fears death if she's extradited because she helped expose a network of influential pedophiles in the country. Unless the Trump administration intervenes, 47-year-old Neringa Venckiene could be sent back home within weeks. "I never want to go back to Lithuania," she told the AP by phone from jail, adding that she'd embrace becoming a U.S. citizen. (photo courtesy Juozas Valiušaitis via AP)

CHICAGO (AP) — A federal judge in Chicago has temporary halted the extradition of an ex-Lithuanian judge and parliamentarian jailed at Lithuania’s request.

The stay in Neringa Venckiene’s (VEHN’-kee-ehn-ayz) case lasts a week until another judge can rule on a longer stay.

The 47-year-old faces charges stemming from her claims of an influential pedophile ring in Lithuania. She won a parliament seat in 2012 campaigning on the issue. She fled Lithuania in 2013, settling in suburban Chicago.

Once a rising Lithuanian judicial star, she entered a Tuesday hearing in orange jail clothes and chained at the ankles. She smiled at her son in court before being led back to jail

Her lawyers asked U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall to delay extradition for a year so Venckiene can finish asking for asylum.

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