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14 April, 2021
 
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Ruling on boy’s return expected within days

Agony over US-born child as Supreme Court delays decision until after mother’s appeal gets underway

Newsroom

The Supreme Court has delayed again its ruling on whether a young boy would join his father in New York as per Paphos court orders or continue to stay in Cyprus with his mother, who has been accused of child abduction but has an appeal pending.

(Click here for an update to the story)

According to local media, Supreme Court judges in the Republic of Cyprus are expected to rule within days on whether a Greek Cypriot mother in Paphos would have to comply with a local court order calling on her to return her 5-year-old son, a US citizen, to his father who lives in New York.

The order by a local family court was suspended by the Supreme Court earlier this year after the mother filed an appeal just moments before a deadline to hand over the boy was to expire. The boy’s father, a US citizen, then flew to Cyprus after the Supreme Court delayed the return pending the appeal process.

But judges never clarified whether the father could be reunited with the boy in the interim throughout the appeal process in family court

But judges never clarified whether the father could be reunited with the boy in the interim throughout the appeal process in family court. During a hearing on Thursday, the Supreme Court bench said a decision would be made in the coming days.

The mother’s lawyer has argued that his client took the child when the boy was 12 months old in New York and together mother and son fled an abusive home, while the father’s attorney says his client denies abuse allegations and further has slammed Cypriot authorities for issuing ID documents for the child unbeknownst to the dad and without his consent.

In legal terms, a decision to return the boy to his father has not been reversed, but the Judges said they were examining a request by the mother to allow the boy to stay in Cyprus until her appeal process is completed.

According to the father’s attorney, his client’s 5-year-old son would remain with his mother while the Judges issued an injunction requiring her to check in with a police officer every day, sign a €200,000 bond, and surrender all her travel documents. Her name was also put on a stop list.

The mother’s attorney said the case is now before a family appeals court, but it was not clear how long the trial might take.

Earlier this year, the mother made media rounds and supporters helped raise public awareness over the case, days before the original deadline to hand over her child, arguing the clinical psychology graduate fled an abusive relationship after getting help from her supervisor who linked her up with a network of women survivors in New York.

The mother’s lawyer argues it would be traumatic for the child to leave Cyprus, citing ties to the country, with the mother also suggesting the father never showed interest in communicating with his son while away.

But the father’s lawyer argues parental alienation caused by the actions of the mother, saying his client had been searching for them in the United States not knowing that the mother had obtained a Cypriot birth certificate and travel documents for the baby. The father also claims that the mother had stayed away from social media until after detectives he had hired were able to track her down in Paphos.

In legal terms, a decision to return the boy to his father has not been reversed by any court of law. There were no known reports of negotiations between the two sides.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  United States  |  Paphos  |  New York  |  child abduction  |  custody  |  Supreme Court  |  abuse  |  family  |  travel documents  |  stop list

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