US court hears arguments in ex-Lithuanian judge’s case

FILE - This 2012 file 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. An appeals court will hear oral arguments Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018, in the case of Venckiene, who is fighting extradition to her homeland. (Juozas Valiušaitis via AP, File)

CHICAGO (AP) — Arguments before an appeals court over a request to halt the extradition of an ex-Lithuanian legislator jailed in Chicago focused partly on whether an anti-pedophilia movement she headed in Lithuania qualifies as a rebellion.

Neringa Venckiene (vehn-KEE’-ehn-nay) faces charges in Lithuania that include submitting false reports regarding claims she made about the existence of a ring of influential pedophiles in Lithuania.

Her attorney, Barry Spevack, told the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday Venckiene qualifies for protections barring extraditions for alleged crimes stemming from political upheaval. He said prosecuting her was Lithuania’s bid “to cut off the head of the insurrection.”

A U.S. government attorney told the three-judge panel that stretched the definition of an uprising way too far.

The 7th Circuit will likely take several weeks to rule.

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