May 2, 2013 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
Continuing to update the case of Tommaso Vincenti and Laura Garrett, there's this article (Pickering Post). It's not of recent vintage, but it certainly provides more details about the unscrupulous and possibly illegal behavior of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. It seems that employees of DFAT were up to their eyes in Laura Garrett's conspiracy to kidnap her and Vincenti's four daughters from Italy to Australia. I've reported before about their involvement, but there's more to it than I suspected.
Once Garrett decided to abduct the children, she needed passports for each of them. Australian law requires the permission of both parents to be obtained by DFAT before issuing passports to minors, unless urgent circumstances warrant issuance with only one parent's agreement.
It is a criminal offence to facilitate the abduction of children from Italy and most other first-world countries who are signatories to the Hague Convention. It is also illegal to organise children’s passports without the consent of the both parents.
Only in exceptional and proven circumstances, such as the children being in imminent danger from the other parent, can this be permitted.
Garrett convinced Vincenti to give his permission for the girls to travel, but only with the understanding that he would be going with them. But Garrett's statements to DFAT personnel show clearly that her intention was only to get Vincenti's permission and then change the travel plans.
Documents show DFAT was aware that the father had agreed to the issue of passports for the girls on the condition that he travel with them to Australia for a holiday. The mother told the Rome Embassy officials that, “I agreed because I just wanted to get the passports”.
DFAT said it had confirmed it had seen the father’s form of agreement but they did not take a copy of it nor is it available in the FOI material.
Once the mother was assured of the passports she informed DFAT that the father had changed his mind about going. DFAT again took no steps to confirm this with the father or his solicitor...
Documents reveal DFAT had the Rome departure flight time altered to an earlier one after the mother expressed fear the father might become aware of the flight.
All this was apparently well known to DFAT employee Jill Worrall and possibly Jenny Hobbs and Maria Carpenzano.
This was all done without contacting either Vincenti, the Italian police, Italian child welfare authorities or the Italian courts. In short, Garrett said Vincenti was abusive and that's all it took for DFAT personnel to conspire with her to violate both Italian and Australian criminal laws.
Evidence shows a Jill Worrall of DFAT in Canberra had gone to inordinate lengths to first assist with passports for the girls, to assist with airfares and then conspire with the mother to ensure the father, Tomasso Vincenti, knew nothing of the abductions.
This was all performed and justified on the basis of the mother’s unsubstantiated claims to DFAT concerning the father. But no evidence of the mother’s claims of violence, cruelty, mental deficiency or any other claims were found to be true by an Italian Court.
The Australian Family Court also subsequently ruled the mother’s claims untrue. Yet DFAT was content to accept the mother’s word without question while continuing to aid and abet in the abductions.
No employees of DFAT have ever met, nor have they spoken to, the father of the children or his solicitor.
There is no evidence to suggest that DFAT’s employees in the Italian Embassy, nor DFAT in Canberra, took any steps whatsoever to determine if the mother’s claims were even remotely true.
They could easily have been ascertained, or otherwise, by accessing Italian court records or taking the proper course of seeking out the father to hear his side of the story. He was not contacted.
Just to gild the lily, DFAT actually loaned Garrett money to facilitate her crime.
Now it seems Australian prosecutors are showing an interest in bringing charges against Garrett and possibly DFAT workers.
This case continues to show the frankly dysfunctional nature of the judicial system when it seeks to deal with allegations by a mother that a father abuses his children. Time and again we see police and courts ignore the most basic tenets of due process of law, all in the interest of believing the accusations of a mother.
In the Vincenti/Garrett case, it was clear from the outset that Garrett had committed criminal wrongdoing. Nothing in any law anywhere states that abducting one's children is made legal by allegations of abuse. The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction clearly prefers that the children's home country adjudicate allegations of abuse. So when Garrett showed up in Australia with her four daughters and without Vincenti's permission, regardless of her accusations, she was in violation of the law.
But instead of sending the children back to Italy and prosecuting her for her crime, Australian authorities, perhaps due to encouragement by the news media, treated Garrett with kid gloves. No lie was too great, no abduction too heinous for anyone in authority to treat the matter for what it was - serial criminal behavior. Into the bargain, as I demonstrated in my last post, Garrett's was serial criminal behavior committed by a known liar and perjurer, a person easily ascertained to be someone who would lie about abuse by a man to defraud Australia's taxpayers. That the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade unquestioningly assisted Garrett in her crimes is one we don't see every day, but reflects exactly the same mindset. That mindset assumes that mothers don't lie about abuse and that everything they do is in "the best interests of the child."
Of course we daily see both those notions to be false, but when it comes to depriving children of their fathers, some people simply won't be denied. We see those people in family courts all the time. Some wear judicial robes, some a police officer's uniform and others the everyday clothing of mental health experts who refuse to believe that some mothers alienate or abuse their children. False swearing for the purpose of obtaining restraining orders that separate fathers from their children has for years been decried by family lawyers, but nothing stops it from happening. That's because it's successful. As long as judges blindly issue orders based on false or baseless allegations, we can all count on those allegations continuing.
Meanwhile, the whole outrageous circus has but one purpose - to separate fathers from their children. As such, it's child abuse. Children need and benefit from meaningful relationships with both parents. Therefore, any action that intentionally takes a child from a fit parent is rightly called abuse.
And of course that's just what Laura Garrett did. Much social science shows child abduction to be child abuse. Likewise, much social science shows parental alienation to be child abuse, and nothing shows parental alienation at work like the behavior of Tommaso Vincenti's daughters as they were dragged kicking and screaming to airplanes that would take them to Italy. These were the same kids who had written about their love for their father just before their mother abducted them and shortly thereafter. Having barely had any contact with him while they were in Australia, how to explain their almost feral loathing of him at the end of that time? The answer can't be avoided - parental alienation. Chalk up more child abuse to Laura Garrett.
Does anyone care? Will anyone bring charges against her? Will anyone jail her? Or are her years of abuse of her children, her ex-husband and the judicial systems of two countries just something we all have to accept because she's a mother?
I guess we'll see. For now though, Laura Garrett is asking the Australian taxpayers for $10,000 Australian to hire "a good Italian criminal lawyer."
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