The arraignment for a Filipina facing trafficking charges in a baby adoption case has been pushed back once again, with no end in sight to her incarceration.
The 47-year-old woman, who has been in police custody since January 17, appeared on Wednesday before a criminal court in Nicosia for her arraignment to answer to multiple charges including trafficking of minors. She is being accused of taking part in an illegal adoption of a child from the Philippines, with two men in Cyprus as the adoptive parents who still remain at large and are believed to be overseas.
But according to Cyprus News Agency (CNA), the court scheduled a new date later this month for the defendant to answer to a total of 19 charges, including conspiracy to commit felony, document forgery and fraud, perjury, and trafficking of minors which carries up to 20 years in prison.
Prosecutors say the woman admitted to bringing a baby to Cyprus in 2017 and registering herself as the mother while a Greek Cypriot gay man was named the father.
Prosecutors have contacted authorities in the Philippines to ascertain whether the baby was brought to Cyprus with the consent of the biological mother
The biological mother of the child, who lives in the Philippines, had been receiving financial support from the man until the birth of her child, while it was reported that she had decided to give the baby up for adoption.
But police investigators believe laws were broken in the process and have contacted authorities in the Philippines to ascertain whether the baby was brought to Cyprus with the consent of the biological mother and whether the birth certificate was forged.
The defendant had travelled to Cyprus on a visa to work as a housemaid for the father of the Greek Cypriot suspect. But it is not clear whether Cypriot authorities will go forward with kidnapping charges against the woman, as it later emerged that the biological mother in the Philippines had used the defendant’s name at the hospital when she went to give birth.
Cyprus police have issued international arrest warrants in four countries against two men in connection with an illegal child adoption.
The lawyer of the Filipina told Knews his client has not answered to any charges yet, after the hearing was postponed several times. According to police, the woman would be held in Central Prisons in Nicosia until her new arraignment date, which has been set for March 27.