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Five plead not guilty to involvement in kidnap of four year old girl

Four men and one woman on Thursday pleaded not guilty to charges relating to the abduction of a four year old girl by her Norwegian father outside her kindergarten in Nicosia in April 2017.

The father took the child to Norway where she was eventually found by police,, was reunited with her Cypriot mother and returned to Cyprus.

He faces trial in Norway.

The five defendants are charged with conspiracy to commit an offence, abducting a person from legal custody, abducting a young woman under 16, assault and causing real bodily harm.

More specifically, according to the charge sheet, they and another individual abducted the four year old from her mother, her legal guardian, from outside a private kindergarten causing her real bodily harm.

Defence lawyers said that custody was awarded after the alleged offences were committed, that the father had the right to pick up his daughter and that the charges should be suspended and the case tried by a district not criminal court.

The prosecution said they will handing over all the evidence to the defence but disagreed with the defence saying the court did not yet have the facts of the case before it and therefore could not rule on such a request.

The court agreed with the prosecution and set the trial to start on October 30.

The defendants were released on €50,000 bail  and ordered to hand in their travel documents. Their names have been placed on the stop list and they must report to a police station twice a week.

The little girl was abducted by her father on April 27, 2017 prompting a huge search and an online campaign to find her.

Norwegian police finally tracked the father and daughter down six months later and she was returned to her mother.

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