Tue 16 Apr 2019

Ukrainian Tycoon allegedly involved in International Child Abduction

Mr Justice Mostyn, a senior high court judge in England, has allowed the media to name alleged child abductors in an international child abduction case.

Sergiy Tigipko and his daughter Anna Tigipko have been accused of "acting in concert" in refusing to return Mr Tigiipko's two granddaughters from Ukraine to England in contravention of court orders. Mr Tigipko is a former Ukrainian Deputy prime minister and described in the media as a "billionaire oligarch".

The girls' mother and father separated in around 2015 but the girls continued to live in London and have contact with their father. In November 2017 their mother took them on a planned holiday to Ukraine but has failed to return them.

The pair had been asking the court to prevent the media reporting their identities but Mr Justice Mostyn said "there is a strong public interest in far more press reporting of international child abduction".

It is unusual for the parties in family cases to be named publicly. In international child abduction cases, alleged abductors names have been released where children's whereabouts are being deliberately concealed in order to avoid the court process. This case is different as the location of the children is known. It remains to be seen whether this case will lead the way to more public reporting of international child abduction cases.

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