The Daily Telegraph

Family denies kidnap of boy orphaned in cable car crash

- By James Rothwell in Jerusalem

A Six-year-old Israeli boy who is at the centre of a custody row following the death of his parents in a cable car crash should be returned to his legal guardian in Italy, the Israeli government has reportedly concluded.

Eitan Biran was taken from Italy to Israel by his grandfathe­r on Saturday, following the May tragedy which killed 14 people, including his younger brother, great-grandparen­ts and parents.

But the boy’s relatives in Italy on his father’s side have claimed he was abducted, prompting Italian authoritie­s to launch an investigat­ion. The boy’s maternal relatives in Israel deny the kidnapping charge.

According to Tel Aviv broadcaste­r Channel 12, the Israeli government has issued a legal opinion which says it was unlawful to take Eitan to Israel against the wishes of his guardian.

The legal opinion reportedly added that Israel was obliged to return Eitan to the guardian, Aya Biran-nirko, as soon as possible. It also said that Italian courts would have the final say on the boy’s guardiansh­ip.

Eitan, the sole survivor of the cable crash in northern Italy, was reportedly taken to Israel on a private jet using his Israeli passport.

Aya Biran, Eitan’s paternal aunt in Italy, said that over the weekend his maternal grandfathe­r took the boy out on a day trip, but then they flew without permission to Israel. “His new desk, school backpack, notebooks, pencil case and books were ready” for his first day of class on Monday, she said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom