KAUNAS - Early Thursday morning, May 17, a court ruling to return the 8-year-old daughter of the late Drasius Kedys to her mother Laimute Stankunaite was implemented as the police assisted the mother in taking her daughter from her aunt’s house in Kaunas district. Kedys’ sister Neringa Venckiene was the temporary guardian of the girl, reports ELTA.
A total of 39 persons from a crowd surrounding Venckiene’s house to prevent court bailiffs from taking the minor were arrested. Many Lithuanians were violently opposed to the decision since they allege that the girl’s mother is part of a pedophile ring.
For five months protesters prevented authorities from taking the girl from her deceased father’s relatives, but police used riot shields to break up the angry crowd.
Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said that the responsible authorities must investigate if violence has not been used against the child during the handover operation, as the interests of the girl come first in this extraordinary story. The Social Security and Labor Ministry said it would look into the details of the handover operation.
The president had repeatedly said that the interests of the child must be protected. According to her, any kind of violence against the girl would not be tolerated.
The police released a statement later that morning saying that force was not used against the child and the police officers were acting in line with the law and the court ruling.
Supporters of Kedys and Venckiene then started gathering at the president’s office in Vilnius to protest the handing over of the girl to her mother.
Kedys was wanted since October of 2009, when Kaunas District Judge Jonas Furmanavicius and Violeta Naruseviciene were shot dead. These murders have been directly linked to Kedys’ search for justice. In early 2010 he was found dead in mysterious circumstances.
Kedys, an owner of a fur business, accused Judge Furmanavicius and two other men of molesting his little daughter. He also suspected his partner, Stankunaite, and her sister Naruseviciene of assisting the pedophile ring.