Probe launched against officials who reportedly did not let Dima Yakovlev's relatives adopt him

A probe has been launched in Pskov region prompted by media reports that local officials did not let Dima Yakovlev's grandmother adopt him.

"Media reports say that Dima Yakovlev's grandmother and grandfather wanted to adopt him. A probe into the activities of officials is being conducted in Pskov region," official spokesman for the Investigative Committee Vladimir Markin has told Interfax.

He said that earlier the boy's grandmother told reporters that she had been denied adoption on account of her age.

"Following media reports that Dima Yakovle's own grandmother and grandfather tried to get custody of the child but officials did everything for the boy not to remain in his homeland the Investigative Committee for Pskov region launched a pre-investigation probe," Markin said.

He said investigators will look into all the circumstances of Dima's adoption and offer "a legal evaluation of the actions of officials who dealt with the boy's adoption."

"A proceedings decision will be made," based on the findings of the probe, Markin said.

Dima Yakovlev, a Russian toddler, was adopted by an American family but died in 2008 of a heart attack after his adoptive father, Michael Harris, left him in a car in hot weather for several hours. Harris was later found not guilty by a U.S. court of involuntary manslaughter.

Today the toddler's name is related to the Russian State Duma's bill that imposes a ban for adoption of Russian children by American families. The bill is a response to the Magnitsky Act signed by U.S. President Barack Obama on Dec. 14.

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