Norwegian Court Gives Child to Alleged Pedophile Father

A Norwegian court has ruled to deprive Russian national Irina Bergseth of her parental rights and give her five-year-old son to her Norwegian ex-husband who had allegedly sexually abused the boy, Russian TV channel Rossiya 24 reported on Tuesday.

Last year Irina, a mother of two boys, 5 and 13 years, accused her ex-husband of molestation after her younger son complained about pains in his genitals, saying that it had been his father, Kurt Bergseth, to blame. The woman reported to the Norwegian police but policemen have found no evidence of abuse and gave both children to foster families.

In August 2011, the woman attempted to bring her elder son, who has Russian citizenship, to Russia but they were detained in Poland. Russian child’s ombudsman Pavel Astakhov helped return the boy to Russia. The elder boy also confessed to being sexually molestated by his father.

The court ruled on Tuesday to deprive Bergseth of her parental rights for the younger son and awarded the father custody. The judges also dismissed materials provided by the Russian investigators that show evidence against the father.

“Now I have the right to meet with my child once a year under police supervision, and I’ll have to pay for each meeting 300,000 rubles ($10,000),” Irina told the Russian tabloid Life News. She also said she would have to spend 1.5 million rubles ($50, 000) for appeals procedures in court.

“Termination of her parental rights and refusal to listen to her lawyer is an unjustified and ungrounded violation of her rights,” Astakhov said, adding that investigators should continue to probe into her former husband’s actions.

The official also said that Irina’s case was complicated because the younger son did not have Russian citizenship.

In late March, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia may ease the procedure for obtaining Russian citizenship for children from marriages between a Russian citizen and a foreigner.

Several scandals over the citizenship of children whose parents divorced have taken place in Russia over the last few years.

A diplomatic row arose in 2009 when Finish national Paavo Salonen was charged for illegally taking his five-year-old son Anton from his Russian mother Rimma to Finland with the help of a Finnish diplomat, who crossed the Russian-Finnish border with the boy in the trunk of his vehicle.


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