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October 4, 2022

Supreme Court rules not to extradite mother accused of abducting her Canada-born child

Romania’s Supreme Court rejected on Tuesday in a final ruling the request of the Canadian judicial authorities to extradite Ana Maria Nedelcu, who is charged with abducting her child born in Canada and bringing him to Romania.

The High Court of Cassation and Justice upheld both Nedelcu’s challenge and the challenge filed by the Romanian prosecutors, quashing a May 24 decision of the Bucharest Court of Appeals ordering the woman’s extradition.

In an emotional plea at the trial this Tuesday, the defendant asked the judges not to extradite her to Canada and allow her to raise her children in Romania. She had the support of the session prosecutor who explained that the legal requirements for admitting the extradition request were not met.

Nedelcu also said that she had sent Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos a letter asking him to support her plea to not be extradited and intervene through diplomatic channels in her favor.

The Canadian authorities sent to Romania a request for the extradition of Ana Maria Nedelcu, who is being prosecuted in Canada for abduction and violating a custody order, a crime which according to the Canadian Criminal Code carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years.

The documents sent by the Canadian authorities detail the woman’s crime as leaving for Romania in 2014 together with her minor child, in violation of the custody order issued by a Canadian court which awarded parental rights to both her and the father.

The Bucharest Court of Appeal ordered the woman’s arrest on April 13. She was released a week later after the case reached the Supreme Court. On May 24 the same judge from the Bucharest Court of Appeal upheld the extradition request, which was now quashed by the Supreme Court.

Ana Maria Nedelcu says that in 2001 she emigrated to Canada and settled in Montreal, and in 2009 met Domincan-born Maximo Sierra Munoz. The two have a boy named Anthony. The woman says that she separated from the man before giving birth because he didn’t have a job, was violent and abused her. Ana Maria Nedelcu claims that in 2013 she got a job offer in Toronto, so that she decided to move from Montreal. Munoz obtained joint custody in court, and a year later she decided to leave for Romania after the child told her that his father had hit him on several occasions.

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