UPDATE [May 22]
Police have raided a Queensland property, locating the four missing children and their great grandma who was hiding them after a protracted, international custody dispute. The girls’ mother had been ordered to return them to Italy so that the custody matters might be heard in the local courts.
The Judge who made orders for the children to return to Italy has said his orders still stand. He has declined to hear further applications from the family and said he suspects the children’s relatives are in contempt of court for hiding the children.
He said the children’s relatives should be brought to court to swear on oath about their whereabouts.
To clarify yesterday’s article, the Family Court previously found the father did not give his permission for the family to flee. The family did leave Italy with the help of Australian officials, however they reportedly did not make it clear why they were leaving.
Since yesterday, the children have released handwritten letters claiming they wish to stay in Australia.
A Brisbane judge has re-iterated that the children would be returned to Italy to have the case heard under its jurisdiction.