Father speaks in Cyprus custody battle - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Father speaks in Cyprus custody battle

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We first brought you this story last week, a Granger native says her ex-husband took her kids to his native country of Cyprus, and she's been fighting to get them back for two and a half years.

She's even moved to Cyprus to be closer to them.

We reached out to her ex-husband and promised to bring you his response.

"What I've presented is the truth. The facts," says Charis Theocharides about what has transpired over the past few year.

Theocharides says his wife Marla took their two children back to the United States after a stay in Cyprus, but he says that trip to the U.S. was only supposed to be temporary and the plan was for them to return to Cyprus to live, five weeks later.

About a week before that return flight, he says he stopped hearing from her.

"No communication. She got all the money out of the joint account, absolutely nothing. I was calling, no response," says Charis.

That's when he says he filed kidnapping charges against his wife, came back to the U.S., got the kids and took them back to Cyprus.

"Now both kids, seriously they're doing great. They have so many friends. They have great schools. Lots of love," says Charis.

Meanwhile, Marla says she has custody of the children in the United States and even has the documents to prove it.

But Charis says the children are also citizens of Cyprus, and he was originally given temporary custody.

He says within the past month a court granted permanent joint custody there and Marla accepted the kids' permanent residence to be with him in Cyprus and also agreed to drop her U.S. custody order.

"It's (the order) in Greek right now, but we have asked that it be translated into English and I can provide that as well. We agreed to those terms," says Charis.

Except Marla says she's showed up for visitations ordered by her joint custody and has been told to leave.

"I'm doing everything I can to get my kids returned to me," said Marla in a previous interview.

Charis admitted Marla has been turned away at times because she's either been late or he says the children don't want to see her.

Each parent tells their own story, but each say they want their children to have both parents in their lives.

"I'm hoping the kids can reconnect with their mother," says Charis.

Marla says she believes the children are being brainwashed in Cyprus.

She says the few times she was able to visit them they were happy to see her, and it's only been in recent months that her daughter has shown anger towards her.

She also says it's hard to communicate with her son because he only speaks Greek. She is learning the language, but it's still difficult.

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