Father won’t be extradited for ‘kidnapping’ son

A five-year-old is caught in a custody battle between Danish and Austrian parents who have both been granted sole custody in their home countries

(photo: Stephen Wright)
June 13th, 2012 10:03 am| by admin
facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

A Danish man who Austrian authorities say kidnapped his son from the boy's Austrian mother will not be extradited.

Thomas Sørensen, 40, took his five-year-old son, Oliver, from his kindergarten in the Austrian city of Graz in April and drove back to Denmark where they went into hiding.

The Austrian authorities say the act amounts to kidnapping and issued an international arrest warrant for Sørensen, who was interviewed upon his return to Denmark by the North Zealand Police but was not kept in custody.

On Monday, the Justice Ministry announced that it would not honour the warrant.

“The reason is that the act that the Danish citizen is alleged to have performed in Austria also partially occurred in Denmark – an act that is not illegal according to Danish law,” the Justice Ministry said in a press release.

Sørensen was together with Oliver’s mother from 2000 until 2007, the year that Oliver was born. In July 2010, Oliver’s mother took him back to Austria, even though Sørensen had been granted sole custody by the Eastern High Court.

Upon her return, Oliver’s mother was granted sole custody by Austrian authorities, and granted Sørensen only three hours of supervised contact with the boy every three weeks, during which he was not allowed to speak Danish.

Janus Bang, Sørensen’s spokesperson, yesterday said that Sørensen was relieved by the Justice Ministry’s decision.

“It is the result that have always thought should be made,” Bang told Ekstra Bladet.

Bang said that Oliver’s mother refused an invitation to come to Denmark to resolve the issue.

Speaking to Ekstra Bladet in April, her lawyer, Britta Schönhart, said that the Austrian courts did not recognise the decision of the Danish courts.

“In Austria the we believe that Oliver is an Austrian and that the mother has full parental custody,” Schönhart said.

The decision not to hand over Sørensen was unusual as, according to TV2 News, Danish authorities honour the vast majority of international arrest warrants.

(photo: Yarp)
July music: Invasion of the pianists
Jamie Cullum & Tivolis Big Band Fri July 3, 22:00; Harmonipavillon...
Team CULT is under serious financial pressure (photo: Jérémy-Günther-Heinz Jähnick)
Danish cycling team staring into the abyss
The Danish Pro Continental Tour cycling team CULT Energy Pro Cycling is on ...
(photo: Stephen Wright)
Danish summer the coldest for 24 years so far
If you thought June was particularly cold, grey and dismal this year, you a...
The two-storey apartment is in the plush Opus Hong Kong building located on a cliff side (photo: Exploringlife)
Dane buys Asia’s most expensive apartment
Asia's most expensive apartment, a 301 sqm luxury apartment in the middle o...
"Businesses in Copenhagen and Malmø now have increased opportunities," says bridge manager (photo: Marcus Bengtsson)
Øresund Bridge celebrates 15th birthday
Today marks 15 years since the Øresund Bridge was opened and the first car...
Police remained present at the scene until the situation calmed (photo: Heb)
Bloody brawl in Helsingør sends young man to hospital
A 19-year-old man was flown by helicopter to Rigshospitalet on Tuesday even...