The court said on Friday the decision followed unsuccessful attempts to locate the Gatayevs.
The Klaipėda court said it had asked the Finnish Ministry of Justice for legal assistance in informing the Gatayevs about the date and place of the appeal case hearing but a reply was received that the couple could not be found in Finland. The Lithuanian court also asked to inform the couple about asylum granted to them but Finnish officials have not responded to this request due to unknown reasons.
The Gatayev case went to Klaipėda court after it was forwarded from the Lithuanian Court of Appeals in May 2010. The case cannot be opened, as the suspects left Lithuania in 2009. Some reports suggest the spouses went to Finland and have applied for political asylum there.
In early 2009, a Kaunas court found the couple guilty of violent treatment of their foster children, murder threats and self-willed conduct. They were each sentenced to 10 months in prison.
Another Kaunas court in September of 2009 extended the punishments to 18 months. The Gatayevs disappeared after the verdict. European arrest warrants were then issued, however, recalled in March of 2010, as the Lithuanian Supreme Court ruled to reopen the case.
Human rights defenders say there were possible violations in the case - the media reported interference of the State Security Department and possible involvement of Russia's special services.