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michael wildes appears on abc world news with diane sawyer

Managing Partner Michael Wildes was recently interviewed on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer regarding the international kidnapping of Chase and Cole Hakken by their own parents.

To view the interview, please click here.

On Tuesday, April 9, 2013, Managing Partner Michael Wildes was asked to weigh in on the Hakken child abduction case.  The facts of the case revealed that Chase and Cole Hakken of Tampa, Florida were kidnapped by their parents, who lost their custodial rights to the boys grandparents, and taken by boat to Havana, Cuba a mere 320 miles off of Florida’s coast.  

In 2000, Elian Gonzalez and his custodial mother boarded a flimsy raft and headed towards Florida in search of a better life.  Unfortunately, Elian’s mother did not make it onto U.S. soil alive.  Elian’s U.S. relatives tried to gain custody of the child in order to remain and live in the U.S. as was his mother’s dream.  Ultimately, Elian was returned to his biological father.  Mr. Wildes provided much needed insight into the complexities of U.S. Immigration and Nationality Law at that time as well as in the current matter.  Mr. Wildes explained that there are “no laws and we don’t enjoy an extradition treaty with the government of Cuba” at this time.  As such, at the time of the taping of this interview, the Hakken children had not yet been returned to their custodial grandparents.  However, Cuban officials did return the child to their grandparents.

This was not the first time that Mr. Wildes has been involved in an international child abduction matter. In fact he has worked on many high profile international child abduction matters: mostly on a pro bono basis, with great success.  Click here for more information.

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