A father accused of abducting his two children and taking them to Libya has denied the allegations against him, saying he had full permission to do so.
Speaking exclusively to Lovin Malta, the father and his lawyer said the children – who are aged 14 and nine – were safe and with his family in Tripoli, Libya. They also showed Lovin Malta a contract signed in 2018 by both parents that gives permission to the father to take his children abroad with the mother’s permission for holiday purposes specifically.
However, the mother says she signed that contract under duress, and showed Lovin Malta a 2020 court order giving joint custody to both parents.
“Currently, the minors are in Tripoli, staying with their grandma, i.e. the father’s mother, and are safe and reachable via mobile calls which their mother is in possession of. Not one of these minors is in Dubai,” the lawyer said said.
The father, who has asked not to be named, said that the children have been living with their father since birth and following the couple’s termination of their relationship, they continued to live with the father.
They also said this is not the first time he took the children abroad, and has always returned to Malta, and that both children had dual Maltese and Libyan citizenship.
The father denied the fact that the mother obtained a contact number from a Maltese police officer, saying he had provided it to her.
“I did this in the best interest of my kids to live with my family with love,” he told Lovin Malta. “She’s trying to put us down to get more things from Social Services,” he continued, saying the children had never lived with her.
He also alleged that she had failed to pay children’s maintenance over a number of months.
The mother had raised serious concerns about the whereabouts of her children after she found out they had been taken out of the country around a month ago without her knowledge.
She told Lovin Malta that she had major fears for her children knowing that the father had returned to Malta without them, meaning they were both in Tripoli without either of their parents present in the same country.
The mother maintains that the pair have joint custody of the children; however, the father says he was given custody and care rights for the children.
What do you make of the father’s position?