Italy has opened an investigation into the alleged “kidnapping” of the only survivor of a cable car crash in May.
Six-year-old Eitan Biran was flown to Israel on Saturday by his maternal grandfather on a private jet.
He was the only person left alive from the wreckage when a cable car fell near Lake Maggiore on May 23 in Stresa, a seaside resort in Piedmont.
Fourteen people – including Eitan’s parents, his younger brother and two great-grandparents – were killed. Eitan was seriously injured and spent several weeks in Turin hospital.
Since his release, his paternal family in Italy and his maternal family in Israel have been fighting over custody.
Eitan’s paternal aunt, Aya Biran-Nirko, a resident of the northern province of Pavia, has legal guardianship over him.
His maternal grandfather reportedly came to visit him but took the child to Israel.
The Pavia prosecutor’s office on Sunday opened an investigation into the kidnapping, according to the Ansa agency.
On Tuesday, Israel Police said they interviewed the six-year-old boy’s grandfather at his home in Petah Tikva on suspicion of being involved.
Eitan had been entrusted to his paternal aunt by the Turin juvenile court, while his mother’s family had visitation rights. The Italian court had also ordered the return of his passport, which was in the possession of his maternal family.
In an interview with Israeli Radio 103 broadcast on Sunday, her maternal aunt, Gali Peleg, gave her version of her return to Israel.
“We did not kidnap him (…) we brought him home. We had to do it because we had no information on Eitan’s physical and mental health,” she said. Explain.
“We brought him home, that’s what his parents wanted, they were supposed to come back and they postponed him because of the coronavirus but when they were here a few months ago we talked with them about return, “she assured.
Eitan’s parents had lived in Italy for several years when his father was a medical student. Their youngest son was also born there in 2019.
The president of the Jewish community of Milan condemned “an act which violates Italian and international laws”.
“We hope that the case will be resolved as soon as possible in accordance with the decision of the juvenile court,” Milo Hasbani added in a statement.