Danish court clears way for Misāne's return to Latvia

A Danish court on February 20 upheld a decision by the Danish Attorney General to overturn the planned extradition of Latvian citizen Kristīne Misāne to South Africa, clearing the way for her return to Latvia to face criminal charges in her homeland instead of on another continent. 

The Danish Attorney General has also agreed that Misāne must be extradited to Latvia, the Ritzau news agency said.

The decision was made following a last-minute request from the Latvian Prosecutor General's Office, which said new evidence would allow charges to be pressed in Latvia, thus taking precedence as a fellow European Union member state with Denmark.

South African officials were already believed to be in Denmark to escort Misāne to trial, but it now seems they will be returning home empty-handed.

Misāne is expected to be extradited to Latvia, where she is likely to be charged with evading a court or custody order issued in South Africa, document forgery and making false statements in an application for a loan.

At a court hearing in Copenhagen on Thursday, Misāne looked tired but relieved, Ritzau said.

As previously reported by LSM, Misāne is wanted in South Africa to face charges of child abduction, document forgery and others. She was arrested by Denmark while in transit at Copenhagen airport in December 2018 for a flight to Mozambique and has been in custody ever since.

She alleges that her former partner, South African citizen Johann Grobler, was abusive towards her and she took two of her children - of which Grobler is father of one and had been granted custody - and fled the country with them in defiance of a South African court order.

Grobler has denied the accusations of abuse. It is likely the former couple will come face to face again if and when a trial gets under way in Latvia.

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