Man Arrested for Suspected Kidnapping of Boy Who Survived Cable Car Crash in Italy | Italy
A man on suspicion of aiding the alleged kidnapping of a six-year-old boy who survived a cable car crash in Italy has been arrested in Cyprus.
Gabriel Abutbul Alon, an Israeli national, is accused of driving the car in which Eitan Biran was taken across the Italian border to the Swiss city of Lugano and of arranging the private plane that took him brought him from there to Tel Aviv.
He was arrested in Limassol after being found thanks to the tracking device of his cell phone, for “kidnapping, kidnapping and forcible confinement abroad of a minor”.
Italian police issued an international arrest warrant for Alon, a former soldier, and Eitan’s grandfather, Shmuel Peleg, after the child was abducted from his home near the town of Pavia, in the northern Italy, September 11.
Biran lost his parents, who were Israeli nationals living in Italy, his two-year-old brother and his maternal great-grandparents in the aerial tram crash in northern Italy in May.
He found himself embroiled in a bitter custody battle for his loved ones in Italy and Israel after an Italian court granted temporary custody to his paternal aunt, Aya Biran-Nirko, in Pavia shortly after the tragedy. Biran, who suffered head and leg injuries in the crash, went to live with his aunt after being released from hospital in June and was due to start school two days after the alleged kidnapping.
A Tel Aviv judge ruled last month that the child should be returned to Italy and ordered Peleg to pay around â¬ 18,000 in legal costs and expenses. The decision was then put on hold while his relatives in Israel decided whether or not to appeal the decision.
Eitan was born in Israel but had lived in Italy since he was one month old. His relatives claimed he was taken against their will and immediately filed a petition for his return to Italy. Peleg argued that he acted in the best interests of the boy.