FRANCE: Following the abduction of an eight-year-old girl last week, French officials have issued an international arrest warrant.
Days after the girl was taken from her grandmother’s house, on Sunday, she and her mother were found in Switzerland. The kidnap is believed to have been ordered by the girl’s mother, who has been arrested. Four other men involved have also been detained.
Now, the investigation has turned to a 55-year-old man based in Malaysia.
The prosecutor in the French city of Nancy said that the suspect, Rémy Daillet-Wiedemann, is believed to have had a hand in organizing the abduction. Danielle-Wiedemann denied saying that the case was not a kidnapping, rather the return of a child to her mother at her request.
French media say that Daillet-Wiedemann is a former local politician who stood with the centrist Democratic Movement from south-western France who was expelled from the party after which he moved to the right. He gained prominence for an online conspiracy movement of a popular coup d’état, and for his videos that said 5G and face masks are harmful.
According to prosecutors, three men who were involved in the kidnapping took the girl from her grandmother’s home under the pretext of being child protection officers. Then with the child’s mother, they crossed the border into Switzerland on foot, from where the mother and child were picked up by a man.
While none of the four men arrested so far have criminal records, prosecutors said three were known survivalists – a kind of anti-state individual living on the fringe and often linked to the far right. No violence was used in the abduction, and based on the evidence found the abduction looked like a “military operation’’, said a French prosecutor.
Last January after the girl’s mother reportedly told a family judge that she wanted to live on the margins of society, the custody of her daughter was given to the girl’s maternal grandmother.