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Oliver case deferred as father fails to appear in court

One year after the child abduction of the six-year-old Oliver, the trial against the father should have come back to court yesterday (Thurs). As the Danish man did not appear in court, the hearing was canceled. An order for his arrest will be issued.

With the help of an accomplice, the father took the boy to Denmark on 3 April 2012. This was against the will of the mother. A court in Graz then sentenced the man to one year in jail for child abduction and grave coercion. The man appealed successfully.

The case should have come back to the Criminal Court in Graz yesterday, but the man did not appear in court. He told journalists in Kopenhagen on Wednesday that he "simply did not trust the Austrian legal security".

His lawyers Barbara-Cecil Prasthofer-Wagner and Jürgen Mertens explained yesterday: "He was so shocked from the first hearing but we think that this condition will stop and he will come to Austria, maybe in the next few days."

According to Mr Mertens, the decision of the father is more connected with the news coverage of the media than with the civil case itself. Before the hearing had started, the lawyer had stated that media should also report about the view of the father.

As the accusations of child abduction and grave coercion cannot be dealt without the defendant, the hearing was deferred for an indefinite period. The public prosecutor’s office now wants to issue a European order for the man’s arrest.

Denmark has no extradition treaty with Austria. If the order for the man’s arrest will be issued, the man will not be able to leave his home country without being arrested. This is why his lawyers demand that he can come to his trial in Graz without being arrested.

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