The trial of the Timor Leste woman charged in the attempted kidnapping of a 2-year-old French boy in June has commenced at the Denpasar District Court.
Joaninha Maria Graciet Verdinal Viera, also known as Zionia, also know as Gerandong is charged with kidnapping and trying to sell Logan Bertrand Nicholas Mattei after absconding with the boy and a number of his father's personal belongings after returning from a local night spot in Bali to spend the night with the boy’s father at the Three Brothers Bungalow.
After spending the night with the East Timorese lady, the elder Mattei awoke to find his date, his son and a cache of personal belongings missing.
Using CCTV cameras installed at the hotel and reports from hotel staff, the boy was eventually traced to a North Bali orphanage and the woman together with a make accomplice were arrested a short time later.
At Viera’s court appearance on August 22, 2013, the woman acted erratically, threatening reporters with castration once she was released from police custody.
Prosecutors told the court that the woman was charged with kidnapping the 2-year-old child on June 11, 2013. During the course of the kidnapping she also stole a notebook, two hand phones and Rp. 3 million (US$300) in cash belonging to the boy’s father, Christophe Mattei. The child was initially taken to the woman’s lodgings in Kuta before being handed over in exchange for a sum of money to the Lembuh Pujian Church, claiming she was the Mother and was no longer able to care for the boy,
At the Church, she the demanded a further Rp. 7 million from caregivers, needed, she said, to return home to Timor Leste.
Police, who tracked the woman and the missing child down, said Gerandong was a recidivist thief who had been in and out of prison three times in the past.
Prosecutors have charged the woman with violations of child protection laws punishable by a minimum of three years in prison.
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