Wednesday, 23. April 2014
06. 02. 14. - 14:00
A millionaire British lawyer who snatched his son in Austria and flew him by private jet to the Channel Islands wiill not face any charges in Austria, the public prosecutor in Wiener Neustadt has confirmed.
Stefan Gomoll took his four-year-old son Caspar to Sark in the Channel Islands because under archaic local laws, unmarried mothers have no rights for custody over children born out of marriage. He had been involved in a bitter row with the boy's German mother, Dominique Ruggaber since she was awarded sole custody by a court in Austria where she lives.
Caspar was kidnapped when his father was visiting him in Baden, Lower Austria. Gomoll had been in a playground with his son and the boy's maternal grandfather but when the older man went to the bathroom briefly the dad grabbed the boy and drove him to the airport and flew to Sark before police could put out an alert.
The abduction charges he faced in Austria have been dropped as the prosecutor claims Gomoll could not have known that the documents he possessed claiming he had custody of the child were not valid in Austria. At the time the incident happened he believed he had custody of the child.
The application for custody filed by Gomoll in Sark, where he lives and has a position in the local government, is still to be heard at the Supreme Court in the Channel Islands and until then the son has to remain in Sark.
The mother's lawyer Britta Schönhart said: "The father has appealed the decisions which have so far been in the mother's favour, but until the final ruling nothing counts. Until that happens the mother and child are not allowed to leave the island. It is difficult because the financial resources are not unlimited and she now has to stay in Sark."
The parents split in April 2012 and the mother returned to Baden in Austria to live with the child near her parents who also live in Baden. From February 2013 to August 2013 the mother had moved to the Channel Islands with the child but after the father threatened to take the child away and put him in a boarding school, she left and returned to Austria.
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