Pregnant French woman stuck in Canadian jail

12th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

VANCOUVER, Canada, May 11, 2006 (AFP) - A Canadian judge ruled Thursday that a pregnant French woman accused of kidnapping her own children must remain in jail until the start of her criminal trial in two months.

VANCOUVER, Canada, May 11, 2006 (AFP) -  A Canadian judge ruled Thursday that a pregnant French woman accused of kidnapping her own children must remain in jail until the start of her criminal trial in two months.

Police arrested Nathalie Gettliffe, 35, when she flew into this west coast city on April 10.

British Columbia Provincial Court Justice Margaret Rae denied bail, but details of the hearing and the judge's reasons cannot be reported because of a publication ban.

"It's a good day for justice," said Gettliffe's former Canadian husband, Scott Grant.

An intensely bitter custody dispute over the pair's two children, Maximilien, 12, and Josephine, 11, became an international affair when Gettliffe took the children to France in 2001.

Courts in Canada and France have ruled that Gettliffe should return the children.

The two Grant children are now with Gettliffe's new partner, French journalist Francis Gruzelle. They also have a baby less than one year old, and Gettliffe is five months pregnant.

Gettliffe had returned to Canada to defend her thesis for a doctorate in linguistics at the University of British Columbia.

Grant, who was monitoring the university's web site, saw that Gettliffe was scheduled and called the police.

"We were waiting for her, she was supposed to defend her thesis and the professor came back to me and told me that she was in jail," said André Lamontagne, director of French, Spanish and Italian languages at the university.

The case has received the kind of blanket media coverage usually reserved for celebrities.

Gettliffe's trial is expected to start some time in July. If convicted, she could face a 10-year jail sentence, but such harsh penalties are rare in Canadian courts.

Grant alleged that attempts at mediation with Gettliffe failed in January because "she refused to guarantee me access to the children."

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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