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Father ordered to send son, 5, to mother in Poland

A court had ordered a Maltese man to return his five-year-old son to his mother in Poland, confirming the sentence of a lower court.

The court found that Michael Caruana had provided no evidence to show that the Polish authorities or the mother could not safeguard the interests of the child.

The man and his partner used to live in Malta but she moved to Poland after they split up.

The proceedings for the boy to be sent to Poland were launched by the Department of Social Welfare at the request of the mother, Katarzyna Morkis.

She successfully argued that the couple had agreed when Mr Caruana visited her in Poland, that she would have custody but he would have free access. The agreement was registered in the Polish courts.

However after Mr Caruana brought the child to Malta, he refused to take him back.

The court said that it resulted that the child loved both his parents and that he had been well looked after by his Polish mother in Poland.  The father had the right to petition the Polish courts to vary the existing rulings that governed the care and custody arrangements.

Mr Justice Joseph Zammit McKeon added that he had interviewed the child's half brother who was eight years old and who lived with Mr Caruana.  the court heard that the two boys had spent a lot of time at their father's beach establishment in Mellieha and that they both worked with their father and took clients' orders for food.  This was a disturbing fact said the court.

The court concluded that it was in the interests of the five year old that he be returned to Poland and that this would not constitute an intereference to the father's family rights.

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