Lithuanian asks appeals court to reverse extradition ruling

FILE - This 2012 file photo provided by Juozas Valiušaitis shows Neringa Venckiene in Lithuania. Venckiene, a former Lithuanian judge and parliamentar

CHICAGO (AP) — An ex-Lithuanian lawmaker and judge whose extradition to Lithuania looms is appealing a U.S. district court's refusal to halt the extradition process while she awaits a decision on her political-asylum request.

Neringa Venckiene's (vehn-KEE'-ehn-nayz) lawyers filed a court document Friday indicating she has appealed to the Chicago-based 7th U.S. District Court of Appeals. The process of submitting arguments could take weeks.

The 47-year-old fled to Chicago in 2013. She faces Lithuanian charges that include disobeying a court order to relinquish custody of her 4-year-old niece, who Venckiene says was a victim of politically powerful pedophiles. Venckiene fears she'll be killed back in Lithuania.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall Thursday refused to stop her extradition, saying the State Department already approved it and that she can't overrule it on extradition matters.