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17° Nicosia,
20 February, 2019
 
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Filipina still jailed in adoption case

Nicosia judge orders new remand for woman involved in gay couple child adoption

Newsroom

A woman from the Philippines was remanded in custody for an additional six days in the gay couple child adoption case, citing more time was needed for the investigation and the apprehension of two male suspects.

The Nicosia District Court ordered a 47-year-old Filipina on Saturday to remain in remanded custody for another six days, after her eight-day remand expired over the weekend. The maximum period for remanded custody is eight days in the Republic of Cyprus, unless new evidence is introduced for further pre-trial detention.

It was not clear from court documents whether police had new evidence against the woman, but the prosecutor reportedly told the court the investigation was unfinished and asked for more time. The judge agreed and ordered the woman in remanded custody for an additional six days, citing an unfinished investigation and the fact that the two male suspects still remained at large.

It was not clear whether police had new evidence against the woman, but the prosecutor said the investigation was unfinished and asked for more time

The two male suspects, with at least one of them being a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus, are believed to be a gay couple who adopted illegally a young child from the Philippines.

The woman in custody is being accused of bringing the infant from the Philippines to Cyprus back in 2017 and registering herself as the mother along with one of the suspects, described as a Greek Cypriot man, named as the father. The biological mother of the child is in Philippines and had been receiving financial support from the two men until the birth of her child, which she would then give up for adoption. The biological father was said to be a married man in the Philippines.

The 47-year-old woman, who acted as a mediator, was placed under arrest earlier this month on multiple charges, including trafficking of minors, conspiracy to commit a felony, and document fraud.

The case caught the attention of law enforcement authorities after the Greek Cypriot suspect sought sole custody of the infant. Staff at the Social Welfare office began asking questions, prompting the man to withdraw the claim and raising even more suspicion over the case.

It later turned out that the man had been sending monthly payments of €250 to the biological mother of the baby in the Philippines. The money was described as financial compensation until the birth, with an estimated total between €1000 and €1500.

Unconfirmed reports said the couple made similar attempts in the past but failed, as gay adoption is not legal in the Republic of Cyprus.

The Filipina, whose pre-trial detention was renewed over the weekend, denies receiving any money for her mediation services. Some reports said she worked as a housemaid for the elderly father of the Greek Cypriot suspect.

Police are also investigating the role of the agency that arranged the female suspect’s visa papers in the first place.

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