Sister back in Italy after custody battle


Two of the four girls involved in an international custody battle are back with their father in Italy.

Their older sisters, aged 14 and 15, are still on their way on a separate flight.

The girls’ Australian family is now considering a legal challenge in Italy.

Matilda Butler reports.

TRANSCRIPT

The two youngest sisters, aged nine and 11 were met by their father at Rome’s International Airport early today, but they avoided waiting media including crews from Australia.

All four girls were put on a flight out of Brisbane on Wednesday night but the elder two were taken off again in a highly emotional state.

They spent the night at a hotel and left Australia the following evening.

It’s been a harrowing few days for the sisters since they were forcibly taken from their home on the Sunshine Coast by Federal Police.

Last night, the girls’ mother again waited at Brisbane Airport trying to catch a last glimpse of her eldest two children before they boarded their second plane.

Mother: “If they’re still here, there’s still hope.”

Then the mother indicated she feared prosecution if she followed her daughters to Italy.

Mother’s friend: “She loves them very much. Basically, as a mother, she loves her girls.”

But today the mother and her family are said to be considering making a legal challenge in the Italian courts.

It’s also been revealed that Australian Embassy officials in Rome helped the mother return to Queensland with the girls in 2010.

A Family Court ruling earlier this year found there was no evidence suggesting the officials knowingly assisted with something unlawful.

Matilda Butler, QUT News.