Thomas Sörensen is alleged to have taken his five year-old son Oliver out of kindergarten last spring and travelled back to Denmark with him. There he was given legal custody of the boy, despite the fact that his mother, Marion Weilharter, had been already been given custody within Austria.
Sörensen was convicted of child abduction the following September and sentenced to a year in prison, but the verdict was later overturned by the Austrian Court of Appeal due to a legal error.
Weilharter has campaigned vigorously for the return of her son, who remains in Denmark. She has contacted both the European Parliament and the United Nations about ‘the Oliver Case’ as it has been dubbed, and they are pressing the Danes for a commitment to return the boy to Austria.
“The EU parliament and the UN are dealing with the case and the Danish will have to answer.”
She has spoken to Oliver just three times via Skype and once by telephone since he was taken to Denmark, but has not been allowed to call at all since February.
The situation “cannot be described with words,” Weilharter told Austrian newspaper Der Kurier.
“Every day is the same nightmare. I function when I have to. But Oliver has only me. If I do not stay strong, then who?”
Photo of Graz by Philipp Steiner via Wikipedia under a Creative Commons licence