Prague, Sept 14 (CTK) – Norwegian authorities will start dealing with the case of two sons of Czech mother Eva Michalakova who were taken away from her over suspected sexual abuse and maltreatment later this week, members of the petition committee supporting the family have told CTK.
The children are being brought up by Norwegian foster parents, but Michalakova wants them to be returned to her care.
Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has said the Czech Republic may support Michalakova’s plea with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg if her complaint is rejected by the Norwegian authorities.
The Norwegian Child Welfare Service (Barnevernet) took the boys, Denis and David Michalak, who are ten and six now, from their Czech parents in May 2011 due to a suspected sexual abuse and maltreatment in the family.
The Norwegian police investigated the case, but they halted the investigation and no charges were brought. However, the court decided that the two boys should stay with their foster parents in Norway, each in a different family.
Michalakova applied for a re-examination of her case last December.
Now the regional commission is to assess the requests of the mother and father who want to see their boys.
Witnesses are to be questioned and evidence will be assessed.
Czech diplomacy, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and President Milos Zeman have been involved in the case. Zeman wrote a letter to Norwegian King Harald V over the case and asked him to help solve it in the interest of the children.
Michalakova has a number of supporters in the Czech Republic. But according to some children’s rights advocates, the interests of the mother are placed above the interests of her sons, Czech politicians do not have all the information on the case, and the findings about the situation of the boys are not taken into account.
Sobotka said the Czech Republic considered foster care a temporary measure.
The Czech Republic will concentrate on Norway “plausibly proving whether it worked with the family so that the boys could be returned,” Sobotka said.
The decision-making process by the commission is only the first step in the whole process that may be followed by a court re-examination and proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, he added.
The mother’s lawyers say she has already exhausted all legal means.