Sarah Wasaya comments on child abduction case involving Ukrainian billionaire Sergiy Tigipko

A High Court judge has taken the exceptional step of naming a mother and her father in a child abduction case.

Mr Justice Nicholas Mostyn recently lifted reporting restrictions on former Ukrainian deputy prime minister Sergiy Tigipko and his daughter Ganna, after they failed to return her two daughters back to the UK.

Usually family members are named only when the whereabouts of the children are unknown.

“This unprecedented ruling may be a sign that judges will consider thinking outside the box where necessary if the prospect of abducted children being returned imminently does not look likely,” said Sarah Wasaya, a specialist in international cross-border children disputes at national law firm Stone King.

“If this does work as hoped, it may also open doors for judges to take action to speed up matters into their own hands.”

Ganna met the father of her two daughters in 2010 and they married in 2012, settling in London. In 2015 the marriage ended and Ganna continued to live in London although she remarried in Ukraine in 2017.

Her ex-husband, who cannot be named to protect the children’s identities, took legal action to ensure his children would not be taken abroad.

However, late in 2017, Ganna took the two girls to Kiev and did not return with them.

In April 2018, Ganna was ordered by the High Court to return to live in London with her daughters, but she has remained in the Ukraine.
It is thought to be the first time that a judge has named abductors in such a case.

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