The police and the CPS talk in the articles abc above about a continued, large investigation going on, to find out whether 'anything illegal has been done'. From article a:"- Det gjenstår nå en stor etterforsking for å finne ut om det har skjedd noe straffbart, og hvem som eventuelt har vært med på det, sier han til Tidens Krav."
(A large investigation remains in order to find out if there has been any crime, and who, in that case, has taken part in it, he [the chief of police] says to [the newspaper] Tidens Krav.)
What is in their mind is of course to do their utmost to find illegal actions by the boy Gabrielius' mother, father, and possibly other relatives or friends and helpers. This is clear from early on.
If the CPS' taking of a child has been done, or confirmed, by a decision of the County Committee for Social Affairs (Fylkesnemnda) or the courts, then taking the child away from where the CPS has decided the child should be, is a criminal offense. If caught, the perpetrator will be prosecuted, usually with the public prosecutor demanding a jail sentence. Certainly the authorities make a huge case out of it, to frighten everybody from any such attempts. The long lists of articles here may give an idea of the scope of this, even for readers who do not read Scandinavian:Barn og familier på flukt fra barnevernet
(Children and families fleeing from the child protection services)Barn og foreldre som blir straffet for opprør mot barnevernet
(Children and parents who are punished for revolt against the child protection services)
A generous speaker of Norwegian and English as well as Russian took the time to give us a quick translation of the introduction to the first series here
:"Do we have Norwegian refugees?
Yes, both adults and children are desperately trying to get away from CPS.
When the dearest thing people have is attacked and is in danger of being destroyed: own's close family and togetherness with them, people will naturally either raise to defend or escape.
Many parents leads a desperate struggle to retain their kids together with them. Some of them are driven to move to other municipalities to try to get peace. Some see in the end no alternative, but to flee from Norway. Some are trying to go in church asylum or living underground. Some families try to retrieve their forcefully-removed children back home. Young people who are under CPS care flee from their tormentors, but are collected, and sent back.
As routine the government puts in substantial resources to locate and apprehend such fugitives, both children and parents, and lead children back in CPS restraint. Both parents and others who are trying to help children escape from child welfare, are often put under criminal prosecution. The same is also done with the youth whom CPS has or want to have under suppression, and who try to oppose this restraint by physical aggression or resistance."
If the family had been Norwegian, and had fled abroad after
a committee or court decision giving custody to the CPS, Norway would have located them by alerting Interpol and others; when found, Norway would have demanded extradition of both parents and children, they would have sent down about 4-6 policemen and 4 social workers to get them back to Norway, the children to foster homes or institutions, the parents to jail and trial. In the case of Norwegian citizens, Norway would have met with no objections from the other country, they only have to present the Norwegian court verdicts or committee decisions, and the fleeing family is handed over.
Several such refugees have believed that if they have succeeded in getting to another country with their children and the dust seems to have settled after some months, the CPS and other authorities have written off the case. So the refugees return home, in the belief that all is forgotten. – No way. Their names and particulars are known at border crossings, with the police in every part of the country, with every official facility, such as the labour offices, school administrations, health facilities, airline companies. All of these are compelled to report to the police / CPS if the family turns up, and the CPS authority over the child and the charge against the family for having escaped are still in full force.
This goes for foreign families too. The only place they have a hope of not being extradited by Norway, is their own country, if they hold or can get back their citizenship there.
Norwegian actions against refugees from the CPS are standard. It does not take a genius to have foreseen that this would be a central concern of the police and the CPS; it is their most efficient disciplining action against the population. Compare what I wrote on 22 January about another fleeing Lithuanian family:What's coming now? 4
The police, in the ealiest articles, talk repeatedly about their 'fear' that the boy has been abducted against his will
. This is a somewhat unusual statement, because neither the CPS nor the police ordinarily mention what a child wants – they always try to convey that the CPS expresses what the child wants and certainly what the child needs, and that the CPS is the ministering angel assisting the child.
So the repeated 'concern' about the boy possibly having been taken against his will is special. But the reason for this became clear when it was revealed in the last articles that the boy's case had not yet been through the county committee. He had been taken on a temporary decision (these are always said to be based on urgency: it was so dangerous for the child to remain with the parents that it had to be removed immediately).
One such case was that of a mother of two children who had been taken by the CPS on a temporary, emergency basis. She had taken the children away from CPS care, the mother had been jailed for this, pending trial. The jailing of her was appealed to the Supreme Court as a wrongful interpretation of the law. The Supreme Court upheld this and ordered her released: A temporary removal on an emergency basis does not mean that the CPS has formally had the custody of the children transferred to them. Hence it is not a criminal offense to take the children out of such temporary care. The Supreme Court's decision:Barnevernsrelatert kjennelse fra Høyesterett avsagt 22.januar 2013
(CPS-related decision from the Supreme Court, passed on 22 January 2013)
Since then, the police has had to refrain from arresting people on such a basis. In the case of Gabrielius, the police knew that his placement was on a temporary basis, not yet confirmed through a county committee decision. Therefore, the police are extra active to get hold of the boy, because they know that they cannot easily get him back if he escapes from the country; there is nobody to arrest or try to extradite on account of a crime having been committed simply by Gabrielius being removed by someone in his family from CPS care.
One way of saddling the family with a crime after all, would be if they could show that the boy was taken from the bowling hall against the boy's own
will. That might amount to kidnapping.
So this is what the police are doing: Initially they called it "barnebortføring" ('kidnapping'): "Politiets pessetalsmann Alf Stormo sa tirsdag at det trolig var snakk om en barnebortføring"
(The press liaison of the police Alf Stormo said on Tuesday that it was probably a case of "barnebortføring"). Then, when that could not be upheld, they quickly started to talk about the boy being involuntarily taken.
Then when video cameras had shown the boy being led to a car (the News reports from Lithuania
say by the boy's uncle), the police had to give up that possibility also – probably the video showed that he was not at all unwilling. Article c says: "Siktelsen mot mannen som ble pågrepet sammen med gutten vil ikke bli opprettholdt.
– Er det mulig med tiltale for «alminnelig kidnapping» etter straffelovens paragraf 223?
– Det har vært et tema under etterforskningen, men vi kom til at den ikke rammet dette forholdet. Det har med måten han ble bortført på og omstendighetene for øvrig."
(The charge against the man who was apprehended together with the boy will be dropped.
– Is it possible with a charge for "common kidnapping" under criminal law §223 ?
– That has been a theme during the investigation, but we found that it did not cover this case. That has to do with the way in which he was abducted and the other circumstances.)5
The police were active from early on to find the boy's father. They found out where he is, but would not say where – perhaps it was negative to their case? – but said that he was not a chief suspect.
To start with they said the same about the mother too: She was 'being taken care of' by health personnel and police; they had talked with her and wanted to do so again; then she refused to make any statement to the police; then, finally: The mother is charged with having made false statements to the police. Quite likely she has conferred with the boy's uncle about how they could free Gabrielius.
Norway has the child back in the hands of the CPS, and is left with this solitary crime: the mother has not told the truth to the police. No doubt the prosecutors will make the most of it
But the journalist in article c and the police advocate Laura Havdal are in addition apparently in friendly agreement about future measures:"Hull i lov
….. [Når midlertidig plassering trekker ut ] – Da forsvinner av og til barn, forteller politiadvokaten, men straffeloven knytter dem ikke til ulovlig bortføring. ….. Vår oppfatning er at dagens lovverk ikke gir tilfredsstillende beskyttelse av barna. Det er signalene fra dem som jobber med dette, og det er derfor satt i gang arbeid med å vurdere om lovbestemmelsen skal endres. Da må man vurdere om også midlertidig omsorgsovertakelse skal inn i bortføringsparagrafen, sier Havdal.
(A hole in the law
….. [When temporary placement drags on] – Then children disappear now and then, says the police advocate, but the criminal code does not tie it to illegal abduction. ….. Our view is that today's laws do not give adequate protection for the children. That is the signal from those who are working on this, and work has therefore been started to consider whether the law is to be changed. It must then be decided whether even a temporary transfer of care is to go into the paragraph relating to [illegal] abduction, says Havdal.)
And the CPS leader says: "– Generelt så ønsker jeg alle lovendringer som styrker barns rettigheter og trygghet velkommen."
(Generally, I welcome all changes of the law that strengthen children's rights and safety.)
So now we know what to expect in the not so distant future: Another possibility for families to stay together will be removed. Are there any more left? Not as far as I can see. Right from early in the 1990s there have been changes, a series of steps - little and larger – to make the CPS system and the state's ownership to every child complete.
Welcome to the perfect welfare state.