Prague, Dec 2 (CTK) – A Norwegian court refused to deal with the appeal of a Czech woman, Eva Michalakova, against a verdict that stripped her of parental rights to her two sons in June, and this verdict has taken effect, public Czech Radio (CRo) writes on its website.
The regional court in Oslo issued this verdict on Monday, November 28. It concluded that there is no reason to deal with the woman’s appeal.
Michalakova’s lawyer Pavel Hasenkopf confirmed this. “The court believes that it is absolutely correct to remove parental rights from Mrs Michalakova because she presented her case in the media and it even praised the district court and fully identifies with the verdict,” he told CRo.
Michalakova said she was rather surprised that the court did not even deal with her appeal. “I cannot understand that the Norwegians are so ruthless and take absolutely no consideration to the right of the biological parents,” she said.
Czech MP Jitka Chalankova (TOP 09), who supports Michalakova, said it seemed unacceptable that the sole reason for rejecting the mother’s claim is that she started a public campaign to get her children back.
Hasenkopf told CTK that the district court did not take into account the position of the Czech Foreign Ministry that declared that the rights of the family were violated.
He said a request for an appellate review to the Norwegian Supreme Court will be filed now, although he does not expect it to be successful. He said this step must be taken so that Michalakova can address the European Human Rights Court.
Hasenkopf said he believes that Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka would fulfil his promise that the Czech Republic would support Michalakova at the Strasbourg court.
Sobotka said the Czech Republic is ready to support Michalakova in Strasbourg. The state has been extremely involved in the case and this is the first time that it participated in similar proceedings, he added.
Sobotka said an official translation of the Norwegian court verdict was being completed and further steps would be recommended based on it.
Five years ago, the Norwegian child welfare service Barnevernet took Denis, now 11, and David, now 9, away from their Czech parents on suspicion of abuse, neglect and physical maltreatment. The suspicion was not proved then, but the court considered the findings serious and decided to place the boys in foster families.
In June, Norwegian court verdict stripped the mother of parental rights and banned her from seeing the boys. The father cannot see the boys either but he was not stripped of his parental rights. The parents divorced after their sons were taken away from them. The court did not give consent to the adoption of the younger boy.
Michalakova started a campaign in her effort to win her sons back. Czech media closely followed the case and top Czech politicians appealed on their Norwegian colleagues to call on Norwegian authorities to reconsider the steps taken in it.
The Norwegian side has kept silent on the case since the beginning. Some media and experts say it is impossible to assess the case based on the position of one side of the controversy only.
The Norwegian embassy in Prague previously wrote on its website that the Czech media may not know all relevant facts and that the Norwegian institutions, bound by the duty of silence and in the effort to protect the boys, cannot react to incorrect allegations.