21:39 / 02.06.2023.

Author: Katja Miličić

Croatian couples reunited with their adopted children in Zambia

Croat couples acquitted in Zambia of child trafficking charges

Croat couples acquitted in Zambia of child trafficking charges

Foto: Staf Media Consultancy / PIXSELL

The four Croatian couples freed of child trafficking charges by a court in Zambia on Thursday were reunited with their adopted children today. 

The children the couples had adopted from the Democratic Republic of Congo have been in a specialized institution where they were placed by Zambian authorities after the arrest of their adoptive parents last December. The reunited families were expected to arrive home in Croatia within the next 24 hours.

"There is no longer a need to comment on legal matters. Purely on a human level, we are all thrilled. We are waiting for that final step: their return home to Croatia, so that this ordeal can finally be over,” said Sandra Marković, a lawyer representing one of the couples.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković commented Friday on the diplomatic efforts to help the couples since their arrest. The case has caused significant controversy at home about Croatia's handling of international adoptions. The PM underscored sections of the judge's ruling, which stated that the prosecution had failed to prove there was anything wrong with the couples' adoption papers.

"The judge said in her ruling that it was not proven that our citizens committed the crime of child trafficking nor was it proven that their adoption documents were fake. I want to underscore that from the time of their arrest to the end of the trial, Croatia protected the rights and interests of its citizens," Plenković said.

He added that Croatia had also been protecting the rights of the four children, who had competed the adoption process and thereby attained Croatian citizenship.

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