Thu, Feb 27, 2003 - Page 1 News List

High Court rejects appeal of Iruan case

SECOND INSTANCE The court supported an earlier verdict that the boy at the center of an international custody battle should go back to his mother in Brazil

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taiwan High Court's Kaohsiung branch yesterday dismissed an appeal by the Taiwanese uncle of Iruan Ergui Wu (吳憶樺), the Brazilian-Taiwanese boy at the center of an international custody dispute, upholding last year's district court ruling that the child should be returned to his Brazilian grandmother.

Wang Kwang-chao (王光照), spokesman for the court, said that Judge Hsu Ming-chin's (許明進) decision rested on the fact that the boy's grandmother was his sole legal guardian.

"With Iruan's father's authorization, the boy's grandmother, Rosa Ergui, became the boy's only legal guardian the moment Iruan's father died. That did not require the decision of a court," Wang said. "Iruan's uncle Wu Huo-yen's (吳火眼) request to be Iruan's guardian was declined by the district court last Friday. As a result, Iruan's grandmother remains his sole legal guardian."

On Aug. 16 last year, the Kaohsiung District Court ruled that Iruan should be returned to his grandmother in Brazil. Wu appealed to the high court immediately.

Neither the plaintiff nor the defendant or their lawyers were present yesterday.

After the announcement, Wu said, "It does not surprise me at all because Taiwan's judges only care about the guardianship of the child, rather than how he really feels," he said.

As of press time yesterday, the Wus had not decided whether to lodge a further appeal.

Ergui said in an interview in Brazil with a Brazilian TV station after yesterday's ruling that she did not believe an earlier public statement by Iruan that he wished to stay in Taiwan. The interview was broadcast by Taiwan TV stations.

"We will do whatever is right for Iruan. This is his home and I hope that he can stay with us and get his education here. But I have never said that he will never be able to go back to Taiwan," she added.

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