Six French nationals accused of child abduction in Chad could soon be facing lesser charges in a civil case. A judge is considering defence lawyers’ arguments that a criminal trial would be unwarranted, and that the group should be released on bail. A decision is expected in the coming days.
One defence lawyer seemed optimistic: “It’s going well for the moment but things are still being considered,” he said.
Feelings are still running high in Chad two weeks after the arrests of the members of the Zoe’s Arch group, who were detained while trying to fly children to foster homes in France. The UN says almost all of the youngsters were not orphans. Three Spanish aircrew and a Belgian pilot are also being held.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy helped secure the release of four Spanish flight attendants and three journalists last Sunday. Yesterday he met relatives of the remaining detainees who urged him to keep the pressure on the Chad authorities.