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Greek Cypriots in surrogacy case handed back

Authorities in the north on Thursday handed over to Greek Cypriot police three Greek Cypriots and an Albanian national suspected of involvement in the alleged kidnapping of a 17-month-old baby.

Arrangements were made by the United Nations to transfer the four into the custody of police in the south, at a location near the Ledra Palace checkpoint.

The four had been arrested on Tuesday near the village of Acheritou, Famagusta, by Turkish Cypriot authorities, after attempting to cross into a military area.

Earlier on Thursday, they appeared before a judge in Famagusta and were fined for illegally entering the north.

Arrested – also for illegal entry to the north – along with the others was Svetlana Bezpiataia, 39, the purported surrogate mother of the child she allegedly kidnapped with help from the other four.

Bezpiataia and the baby were still in Famagusta, the Cyprus News Agency reported. The woman had yet to appear before a court there.

The baby, Sofia, is the object of a legal feud between Bezpiataia and Olga Mirimskaya, 54, both Russian nationals.

In August 2014, Mirimskaya and her partner Nikolay Smirnov, decided to have a child, and came to an agreement with Bezpiataia – a formal contract was signed, in accordance with Russian law – for her to bear the child for them.

Mirimskaya, a wealthy businesswoman, subsequently launched a legal battle against Bezpiataia, asking the court to annul a birth certificate – obtained by Bezpiataia – and recognise her as the legal mother.

The Russian courts vindicated her and issued a warrant for the arrest of Bezpiataia, which remained pending as she could not be found.

A similar court order in Cyprus also remained pending for the same reason.

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