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Thursday, 15 November 2018

Woman set for latest round of legal fight over daughter taken to Libya

Written by Brian Farmer

A woman whose husband took their daughter and left her at his family home in Libya is preparing for the latest round of a six-year court fight to get the youngster back.

Malgorzata Szymanowicz had left Talia Belaid, who was three months old, with Maher Belaid in November 2012 while she shopped in Cardiff.

Belaid, who lived with Talia and Ms Szymanowicz near the city, said he was going to a coffee shop. Instead he abducted Talia and took her took to his mother in Libya.

Talia (pictured), who will turn seven next July, has since remained in Libya and Ms Szymanowicz's only contact with her has been via Skype.

In 2014, Belaid was arrested after returning to South Wales and convicted of child abduction.

A crown court judge handed him a four-year jail term.

He was released on licence in August last year and now lives in Hatfield, Hertfordshire.

Ms Szymanowicz, from Poland, is planning to ask a family court judge to order Belaid to get Talia back to the UK - and face a further jail term if he does not comply.

She is also aiming to separately ask Libyan judges to order the youngster's return.

Barrister Mark Jarman, who leads Ms Szymanowicz's legal team, outlined her plans, plus background detail, at a family court hearing overseen by Judge Carol Atkinson in London.

Belaid told Judge Atkinson he thought Talia should be back in the UK with Ms Szymanowicz.

But he said his mother would not agree to the youngster, who speaks only Arabic, leaving Libya.

He said his "head wasn't straight" when he took Talia to Libya.

"I am sorry," he said. "I know what I done, it is wrong. At that time I was under pressure. My head wasn't straight."

He added: "I need to fix it."

Judge Atkinson heard submissions from Mr Jarman and Belaid at a private hearing.

She said the people involved could be named in media reports.

She is due to analyse the case again in December.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Malgorzata Szymanowicz / PA Wire.