21/10/13 11:25 CET
| updated xx mn ago
| updated at xx
A Roma couple are appearing in court in Greece accused of abducting a young blonde girl known as Maria.
The pair, aged 40 and 39, are also expected to be charged with falsifying documents.
The charity caring for the girl in Athens, Smile of the Child, said it had received 8,000 calls from around the world since issuing a call for help in identifying her.
The couple, who were found not to be the child’s biological parents, have been held at the police headquarters in Larissa, the region of central Greece where the girl, 4, was found.
The couple’s lawyer denies they were involved in trafficking, saying they were given the child by her real mother, who couldn’t look after her.
“Our clients’ claim is that ‘we never abducted this child we just adopted her’, in a way that was not legal. That we can confess,” Kostas Katsavos said.
Police said the couple gave several conflicting accounts of how the girl ended up living with them at the Roma settlement in Farsala.
They added that she seemed to speak only a few words in the Roma dialect.
Relatives of the couple have insisted she had been with them since she was a baby and was properly cared for.
- 1The nuclear waste site at the heart of Canada’s wildfires
- 2Brazil in crisis after leaked tape forces out interim President’s ally
- 3EgyptAir crash: suggestions of explosion on board ‘mere assumptions’ – official
- 4A handshake, a kiss and a hug at historic meeting of Catholic and Muslim leaders
- 5French union blockades spark petrol shortages
- 1EgyptAir crash: airline says Flight MS804 wreckage found
- 2Venezuela economy fractured with shortages of essentials across the country
- 3The nuclear waste site at the heart of Canada’s wildfires
- 4Crimean Tatars look for Eurovision boost on day of national tragedy
- 5Kazakh police break up anti-government protests
Latest world news
UN chief Ban voices his disappointment as first World Humanitarian Summit closes
Monsanto rejects Bayer multi-billion dollar bid
US comedian Bill Cosby ordered to stand trial for sexual assault
IOM says fewer migrants dying on Mediterranean route to Europe
World Humanitarian Summit calls for shift of emphasis from response to prevention of refugee crisis
Wires > News
- 23:17 CET Daughter of detained Hong Kong bookseller appeals for U.S. help
- 23:01 CET Brazil’s Temer seeks constitutional change to curb public spending
- 22:19 CET Egyptian appeals court cancels five-year jail terms for 47 over…
- 22:11 CET Thousands of migrants saved in 23 rescue operations off Libya
- 22:07 CET Myanmar poet’s jail term ‘like from the old days’
- 21:21 CET U.S.-backed Syrian alliance launches new attack near IS capital
- 21:14 CET Two Colombian journalists missing after Spanish reporter vanishes
- 21:11 CET Portuguese, Russian espionage suspects arrested in Rome