After the legal defeat Thursday for 47-year-old Neringa Venckiene (vehn-KEE'-ehn-nay)-nay) in the U.S. District Court, her lawyers said they'd promptly appeal to a federal appeals court. That likely means she still won't be extradited for weeks.
It took Judge Virginia Kendall an hour to read her ruling. She said judges have little power to halt an extradition after the State Department signs off. Venckiene was also a judge in Lithuania. She appeared near to collapsing when it became clear the ruling wasn't going her way. Kendall called a 5-minute recess while Venckiene drank water and dabbed her face with a tissue.
__ 8:50 a.m. A former Lithuanian judge and lawmaker is going before a federal judge in Chicago for a possible ruling on her request to halt her extradition to Lithuania, where she says she exposed a network of influential pedophiles.
Neringa Venckiene (vehn-KEE'-ehn-nay) wants U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall on Thursday to freeze her extradition pending a decision on her request for political asylum. U.S. agents arrested Venckiene on a Lithuanian warrant in February. She's been jailed in Chicago since. The 47-year-old woman faces charges that include reporting a false crime and other charges stemming from her claim that her 4-year-old niece was among the pedophile ring's victims.
A Chicago-area Republican, U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, last month introduced a bill to halt her extradition. But it's considered a longshot to become law.