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Abducted child to return to mum, court orders


May 07, 2010 12:00:00 AM

The High Court in Suva has ordered that a three-year-old child, abducted by his Australian citizen father currently living in Fiji, be returned to the care of his Australian mother.

The court heard that the child’s father, currently under a domestic violence order in Australia, abducted the child from their Australian home and was living in Fiji.

The court ordered that the father be restrained from approaching the child and its mother and from communicating with them while they remain in Fiji awaiting their departure to Australia.

The case was requested by the Attorney General of Australia seeking Fiji’s assistance with the application brought to the country under the 1980 Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

Fiji’s Minister for Justice Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said Fiji would always honor its international obligations and would assist Australia in its application to the courts.

“It seems ironic however, that Australia is requesting an application to be made in courts they have tried to undermine and before judges they have tried to intimidate,” he said.

“Perhaps the Australian government is finally beginning to see the utility in having judges appear in courts without interference from countries such as Australia.”

Sayed-Khaiyum added that he hoped this will make the Australian government reflect further on the pointlessness of placing judges on travel bans or discouraging others from taking up positions on the bench.

The Fiji Police and Department of Social Welfare were also ordered to provide assistance.  

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