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23 Sep, 2008 00:13

Fears for abducted Moscow toddler

Police are searching for two men who snatched a 2-year-old girl from a playground in Moscow yesterday. Liza Isaeva was playing in a residential courtyard under her nanny's care when she disappeared. Police suspect the girl's French father is behind the ab

Investigators are now piecing together the daylight abduction. “We know that the child was taken by two men who drove away in a silver car. According to preliminary information one of them was the child’s father,” said police officer Andrey Polyansky.

If the child was taken by her father he is unlikely to face prosecution.

“As long as the man is the father in accordance with the family code – in other words, he has not been deprived of parental rights nor has he been limited in them by an agreement between the two parents- the father has an equal right as the mother to spend time with their child,” explains Yelena Anichkova, a lawyer.

If Liza has been taken to France, her father would be protected by French law and it would be difficult if not impossible to bring her back.

Police are searching for the car that is thought to have been used to snatch Liza, and train stations and airports in the Moscow region have been alerted.

There have been several cases recently of foreigners taking their children from Russia without the other parent's consent.

Evgenia Bespalova had her child taken away by her ex-husband who took their daughter on a trip abroad and never returned. She has been trying to find the girl for 18 months.