Sat, Nov 15, 2003 - Page 1 News List

Court orders Iruan returned to grandmother

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

A court verdict Thursday evening ruled that Iruan Ergui Wu (吳憶樺), the Brazilian-Taiwanese boy at the center of an international custody dispute, go back to his grandmother in Brazil.

The Supreme Court upheld the verdict by the Taiwan High Court's Kaohsiung Branch on Feb. 26 this year that said Iruan's guardianship belonged to his Brazilian grandmother, Rosa Ergui.

According to the verdict, Iruan's father, prior to his death, indicated that Rosa Ergui should be the boy's legal guardian.

The court upheld a decision by the district court on Feb. 21 to decline a request by Iruan's uncle, Wu Huo-yen (吳火眼), to assume guardianship. This leaves Rosa Ergui as Iruan's only legal guardian.

When approached by reporters yesterday, Wu said he was not surprised by the decision and Iruan said that he did not want to go.

"We have not had a chance to read the verdict carefully but it won't change the result, will it?" Wu said. "To learn about this, honestly, I am still lost. I do not know what to do."

Iruan, who became a second grader this fall, went to school as usual yesterday.

Hsu Ming-na (徐明娜), Iruan's teacher, said that Iruan learned of the result on Thursday night.

Iruan looked upset when reporters asked him whether he wanted to go back to Brazil. But when interviewed on TV, Iruan was silent when asked if he wanted to stay in Taiwan or go back to Brazil.

Iruan was born to a Brazilian mother who died in that country five years ago and a Taiwanese father, Wu Teng-shu (吳登樹), the captain of a Taiwanese fishing boat. Wu Teng-shu died in March 2001, 11 days after he brought the boy from Brazil to visit his hometown in Kaohsiung County.

Wu Huo-yen, Wu Teng-shu's younger brother, obtained permanent-residency status for the boy in June 2001, claiming that he did so to fulfill his brother's wish that the child be raised in Taiwan and receive a Chinese-style education.

Rosa Ergui visited Iruan in June 2001 and sought help by hiring a local lawyer.

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