The mother and father of the twins kidnapped in La Chaux-de-Fonds gave their version

Ongoing proceedings for international abduction or protection of visitation rights are increasing in Switzerland. In the case of twins kidnapped by their father on October 14 in La Chaux-de-Fonds, the two parents agreed to give their version of the facts to the Mise au point program.

If the case is complex and the investigation of the justice of Neuchâtel risks taking several months, it is because the conflict between the ex-spouses, which has been widely publicized in the press and on social networks in Spain, is taking place within two years. .

Remembering the facts

On Friday, October 14 around noon, the children’s father and two of his friends put the twins in their car. They left La Chaux-de-Fonds in the direction of Spain. The Swiss police quickly sent the alert to the French gendarmerie.

The five in the car were intercepted an hour from the Spanish border and the children were sent back to Switzerland with their mother. The father and the two accomplices were placed under judicial supervision in Pau, the capital of Pyrénées Atlantiques. They appeared on October 21 at the Court of Appeal of Pau.

Two weeks after the abduction, the Court handed down its verdict and refused to extradite the father and the accomplices to Switzerland, thus freeing them to arrive in Spain and travel throughout Europe, except Switzerland. The rest will take place before the justice system of Neuchâtel where the investigation should last weeks, even months.

The mother’s version

Veronica, a 34-year-old carer, lives in La Chaux-de-Fonds with her 7-year-old twins after leaving Spain without the father’s permission. He has been living there with his parents for a year. On the day of the kidnapping, he was in Geneva and his mother was taking care of the children.

“My mother called me and told me that three hooded men took the children. They beat her and tied her up and I called the police. The police came immediately and, very quickly, we got the brand of car to set up a device to find the children as soon as possible”, explained Veronica.

“I have two children who wake up 6 or 7 times a night, who are traumatized and don’t want to go out in the garden to play. They don’t want to leave the house to go to the park and even Want to go to the toilets by themselves without someone giving a hand to them,” he said.

The father’s version

José, a 35-year-old computer scientist living in Madrid, disputes all the charges against him. He is demanding his visitation rights, which have been granted by Spanish justice, of which he has been denied for 18 months. “All I want is to respect the law. It is my right to return my children,” he pleads.

“We want to see if the children are okay. We saw them in the garden, they came to greet me, we picked them up and left. I want to take them to Spain for a week, during the holiday period. I really want them to see the family,” he added. According to him, no violence, no mask. The children’s mother invented everything.

For the father’s lawyer, Frédéric Hainard, a former Councilor of State from Neuchâtel, it is “rather a question within the family. What led these two parents to love each other, to make children and tortured in at least three countries, in at least 50 or 60 civil, criminal and administrative proceedings?

Kidnapping is on the rise

When a family conflict escalates, the kidnapping of a child is the number one risk, according to Lucie Zimmitti, director of Missing Children, which centralizes calls in the event of kidnapping at the Swiss level.

Hotlines in the event of the abduction or disappearance of minors have noticed a dramatic increase in calls from parents who fear the idea of ​​their child being abducted by another spouse.

“Our prevention situations have doubled. This is good news because, when that doesn’t happen, we can do more to direct people to support, for example mediation”, explains the director of Missing Children. .

In 2021, 124 new kidnapping cases were opened at the Federal Department of Justice: a 20% increase from the previous year.

TV subject: Nathalie Randin

Web adaptation: Andreia Portinha Saraiva

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