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Hungary hands Elise mother over to France

Video by Gulliver CRAGG

Latest update : 2009-05-27

The Russian mother of Elise André, the three-year-old girl at the centre of a bitter custody battle, has been handed over to French authorities. Irina Belenkaya, 36, and her daughter were stopped at the Hungarian-Ukrainian border on April 12.

AFP - A Russian accused of abducting her three-year-old daughter amid an international custody battle arrived in France on Wednesday after being extradited by Hungary, airport sources said.
   
Irina Belenkaya 36, was stopped at the Hungarian-Ukrainian border on April 12 as she tried to take her daughter Elise to Russia. A Hungarian court later ordered her sent back to France.
   
The three-year-old toddler has been at the centre of a bitter custody battle between her Russian mother and her French father Jean-Michel Andre, 50, since they split in 2007.
   
She was abducted on March 20 by two men and a woman in the southern French city of Arles, where she lived with her father. Andre was badly beaten during the kidnapping.
   
Last month, Elise was reunited with her father and taken back to France.
   
Belenkaya was due to be flown to the the south of France later Wednesday to be appear before a judge in the town of Arles, legal sources said. She faces charges of kidnapping and complicity in assault.

Date created : 2009-05-27

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