The eight Croats and a senior Zambian officer working for the Department of Immigration in Ndola, who were implicated in an alleged attempted child trafficking case, were on Thursday cleared of all the charges by a court in Ndola.
Lawyer Kewin Silwimba, who represented the four Croatian couples who adopted four children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, said today that his clients were acquitted and that they could leave Zambia with their adopted children and fly back to Croatia.
They have been acquitted of the charges, the lawyer told the press in Zambia, while Croatian Minister of Social Policy and Family Affairs, Marin Piletic, said in Zagreb that efforts were being made to return the eight Croats and their four children to Croatia as soon as possible.
After the court’s ruling, the Croatian nationals did not address the press, while the immigration officer, Gloria Sakulenga, 36, who was jointly charged with them, said that justice had prevailed.
Piletic said in Zagreb that a Croatian representative was with the couples and that as soon as they received the acquittal in writing, they would fly back to Croatia together with their four children.
The minister said that the Croatian parliament was currently discussing draft amendments to Private International Law to make the process of recognition of foreign courts’ decisions on adoptions from third countries stronger and better.
After a Croatian court recognises a relevant decision by a foreign court, our court has the duty to forward the decision to the Croatian Ministry of Labour and Family Affairs and to the Croatian institute for social policy so as to make it possible for our experts to provide all the necessary support to adoptive families, Piletic said.