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Page last updated at 13:15 GMT, Wednesday, 27 May 2009 14:15 UK

Hungary extradites Russian mother

Jean-Michel Andre and daughter Elise, 14 April, 2009
Elise's father took her back to France last month

A Russian woman, Irina Belenkaya, who is accused of abducting her three-year-old daughter Elise, has been extradited to France from Hungary.

The girl, whose father is French, has been the subject of a bitter custody battle since 2007.

In March, Elise was seized in the French city of Arles, where she lived with her father.

Her mother was stopped on the Hungary-Ukraine border last month, apparently trying to take Elise to Russia.

The Hungarian authorities later ordered them to be sent back to France.

Badly beaten

During the abduction in March, Elise's father Jean-Michel Andre, 50, was badly beaten.

Irina Belenkaya, 36, is facing charges of kidnapping and complicity in the assault.

Elise has been the victim of a protracted battle between her parents.

After a French court awarded the father custody, Elise was taken to Russia last year by her mother.

Mr Andre made his own way there and grabbed her off a Moscow street, before taking her back to France.

A Russian court has awarded custody to the mother.



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