13:20 / 01.06.2023.

Author: Branko Lozančić

Court in Zambia acquits Croats

croatas arrestados en Zambia

croatas arrestados en Zambia

Foto: Emica Elvedji / PIXSELL

Eight Croatian citizens were acquitted of child trafficking at a Zambian court in Ndola. The judge found that all the documents were valid and that the children were adopted according to all regulations.

The Croatian citizens are expected to be released immediately. They were arrested almost six months ago at the Zambian airport when they tried to leave the country with their children from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Secretary of State: Croats in Zambia acquitted, perhaps in Croatia already today

“The eight Croats in Zambia have been acquitted of human trafficking charges and may come to Croatia today with their adopted children,” stated State Secretary in the Ministry of Justice Vedrana Šimundža Nikolić.

“We heard the happy news that our citizens were acquitted before a foreign court. We have all been waiting for this news for a long time. I hope that this is the final verdict and that they will come to Croatia with their children as soon as possible, maybe even today,” said Šimundža Nikolić, who is presenting the draft law on private international law in Parliament, according to which foreign court decisions on the adoption of children will be delivered to Croatian courts in the future.

Piletić: We will organize the fastest possible transfer of our citizens to Croatia

“It was not established that there was any mention of falsification of adoption documents. With them, as before, is our diplomatic-consular representative who, after the verdict is in writing, and lawyers are still waiting for that document in court, will organize the fastest possible transfer of our eight citizens to their homeland, together with four minor citizens of the Republic of Croatia, who have all necessary documents on Croatian citizenship and adoption,” said Marin Piletić, Minister of Labour, the Pension System, Family and Social Policy.

The last prosecution witness was heard on Monday

On Monday, the last prosecution witness in the trial against the eight Croats was heard at the court in Ndola. The witness in question is the officer who arrested the eight Croatian citizens on December 7, 2022.

The four couples from Croatia were charged with human trafficking after they tried to leave Zambia with their adopted children from the Democratic Republic of Congo. There was doubt about the authenticity of the documents. Their children were taken away.

According to information received from the Zambian authorities, the children were taken into custody by social welfare services, the Ministry of European and Foreign Affairs said.

Croatian courts confirmed the couples' adoption decisions, and the Interior Ministry issued Croatian documents for the children.

Source: HRT

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