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Judge Awards Soviet Emigre Custody of His Son Living in USSR

April 24, 1985

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) _ A judge awzyred a’Soviet emigre permanent custody0of his 6-year-old son, who is living with his mother in the Soviet Union and unable to leave the country.

The ruling, issued Monday by Circuit Judge Alphonse Witt gives Simon Levin, 34, custody of his son, Mark Livshits.

Levin’s wife, Tamara Tretyakova Livshits, 37, has been barred from leaving the Soviet Union because she worked in an office considered politically sensitive by the Soviets, said Michael Freed, an attorney for Levin.

The woman, through her U.S. attorney, concented to her husband taking custody of the boy. Levin said she is in the sixth week of a hunger strike designed to pressure the Soviet government into letting her and the boy join her husband.

The ruling by Circuit Judge Alphonse Witt may have little impact, Levin’s attorneys conceded. The ruling will be transmitted through the U.S. embassy staff to Soviet officials later this week.

″If they don’t listen, we will pursue other legal recourses,″ Freed said. The next step would be to sue the Soviet Union in an Illinois court for damages, he said.

Levin emigrated from the Soviet Union in April 1978, hoping his wife of two weeks would be allowed to join him. Their son was born May 6, 1978.

Ms. Tretyakova began applying for an exit visa in 1979 but has been rejected a dozen times, Freed said.

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