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The Roma family that has raised little Maria is freed from guilt

10 November 2015 / 11:11:57  GRReporter
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The district court in Larissa has withdrawn the charges of child kidnapping from the Roma couple that has raised little Maria for lack of evidence. In 2013, a police check in the Roma neighbourhood in the village of Farsala near Larissa found a blond child in the Roma family of Eleftheria Dimopoulou and Christos Salis. By decision of the prosecutor, the photos of the child and her alleged parents were disseminated in the media.

    The girl was taken from the family and following the prosecutor's decision, the organization "The Smile of the Child" took care of her and the alleged parents were detained while awaiting trial on charges of kidnapping.
    Yesterday the court withdrew those charges for lack of sufficient evidence but still convicted the Roma couple of falsification of documents and false testimony - the woman received two years of probation and the man 18 months of probation. The course of the lawsuit passed through different directions and twists, including the attempt of the Bulgarian state to gain custody of the child, but without success.

    After a reporter's inquiry at the hospital in the Greek town of Lamia and DNA testing, Maria’s biological parents were identified as the family of Sasha and Nikolay Rusev from the town of Nikolaevo in the region of Stara Zagora. The Bulgarian Roma couple has never been interested in Maria nor has it claimed any parental rights.

    "The Smile of the Child" has taken care of the girl to this day; she is feeling well, attending school and has friends in the large family of children and educators at the organization.

Tags: Little MariaBlond angelCourt in LarissaRoma neighbourhood in FarsalaThe Smile of the ChildSasha RusevaBiological parents
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