From The Australian :
Andrew’s dad wants police to act against charities who helped wife
Peter Wilson, Europe Correspondent
September 21, 2010 12:00 AM
Ken Thompson has called for investigations following the disclosure his wife received help from charities after fleeing with their son.
The Australian revealed yesterday that Melinda Stratton received shelter from two Christian charities in Amsterdam and stayed for a lengthy period with friends in Austria after fleeing during Family Court hearings in April 2008 into the custody of Andrew, who was then 3 1/2 years old.
Ms Stratton appears to have also received support from people in Australia, and was in contact with a barrister in England who has not been named by The Australian for legal reasons but who is known to have links to Ms Stratton’s supporters in Australia.
Ms Stratton and her son were taken into custody two weeks ago after another mother at the school Andrew was attending in Amsterdam became suspicious and found internet references to Ken Thompson’s campaign to have his son returned.
The leader of that congregation, South African-born priest Msizi Dube, and a former Dutch judge who acts as an adviser to the Sisters of Charity both told The Australian they helped her because she said she feared her husband would harm Andrew if he were returned to Australia.
Both groups said they were aware she had fled Australia illegally but said their charities often worked with illegal immigrants and other people who were “on the wrong side of the law”, and their main priority had been trying to help the welfare of a desperate mother and child.
Mr Thompson said yesterday he was horrified by the attitude of the charities and others who had supported his wife.
“These people have been aiding and abetting a serious crime, the denial of human rights to Andrew and to me,” said the former deputy chief of the NSW Fire Brigade.
“There is no doubt that Melinda is highly believable and, just out of laziness, they seem to have accepted her delusion that I am somehow a threat to Andrew.
“It is incredible that they decided they had the right to intervene and help this woman based on nothing more than what she told them. What about Andrew’s rights? What about my rights and the pain this has caused to my mother and stepmother? I never dreamed that legitimate charities would get involved in that sort of behaviour.
“How many other children who have been abducted by a parent have not been found because well-meaning but unthinking charities have helped that parent to escape the law?
“I want to see police action, and political action and some more answers about who was involved.”
Mr Thompson said the Catholic church must explain its actions. “The Pope has been accused of shielding pedophiles; now we know for certain that these nuns have shielded an abductor,” he said.
In a statement released yesterday Mr Thompson urged police to check the contents of the room where Ms Stratton and Andrew had been staying in Amsterdam.
Mr Thompson said he always suspected his wife was receiving advice and financial support from within Australia and perhaps overseas.
Ms Stratton faces extradition proceedings. Dutch childcare services are caring for Andrew.