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[caption id="attachment_18669" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Sacramento attorney Nabil Samaan told Fox News his brother "did the right thing" in murdering his niece during family court dispute."]samaan[/caption] [caption id="attachment_18676" align="alignright" width="250" caption="Two-year-old Madeline Layla Samaan-Fay, killed by her father in an apparent murder suicide."]madeline-layla-samaan-fay[/caption] In a horrific act, Mourad "Moni' Samaan apparently killed his two-year-old daughter Madeline Layla Samaan-Fay in a murder-suicide. Samaan had been involved in a child custody dispute with Marcia Fay, a prominent deputy to state Attorney General Kamala Harris. Samaan disappeared with his daughter after an August 7 visit, leading to a statewide AMBER alert. Their bodies were found inside an SUV, dead of carbon monoxide poisoning. Outrageously, Moni Samaan's brother Nabil Samaan, a Sacramento attorney, told Fox News, "I think he did the right thing. I"m proud of him.' Fox TV reporter Chris Biele, to his credit, gave Nabil Samaan a chance to correct or retract his outrageous statement, but Samaan refused, instead reiterating it and saying "I think justice was done." Fathers and Families condemns both Moni Samaan's horrendous murder of his child and also Nabil Samaan's despicable defense of his brother's actions. Nabil Samaan says his brother was mistreated in family court and child custody matters. However:

1) Nothing ever could come close to justifying what Moni Samaan did to his daughter.

2) It is questionable whether Moni Samaan was, in fact, mistreated in family court.

It is absolutely true that many California fathers are manhandled in family court, often cut off from their children, punished without evidence on spurious abuse claims, and bankrupted by confiscatory financial orders and demands. However, Moni Samaan had a decent child custody arrangement, apparently over 30% physical time. In the end he was stripped of all parenting time with his child for a perfectly good reason--he repeatedly disappeared with the girl when it was time to bring her back, violating the court order and causing the girl's mother much stress and worry. Tragically, the mother had every reason to worry. The Center for Judicial Excellence is now involved in the case--see the Capitol Weekly piece here. The CJE works to drive recognition of Parental Alienation out of the family court system and encourage courts to uncritically accept mothers' abuse allegations. We laid out the problems with the CJE and its allies position in our Capitol Weekly column Preventing courts from considering parental alienation will harm kids (2/25/10). The CJE is one of our main political opponents, and we were instrumental in blocking two of their bills last year--to learn more, click here. The CJE also stereotypes fathers as abusers and killers, ignoring the well-documented fact that the vast majority of parental murders of children and child abuse are committed by mothers, not fathers. However, in this case it must be said that the CJE is correct in condemning and making an issue of Nabil Samaan's despicable comments. The case is also being discussed in the American Bar Association Journal here. [Late Note: Nabil Samaan has now issued a statement retracting his previous comments.]

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