The custody battle for 11-month-old Lydia Anagnostopoulos, the daughter of the murdered Caroline Crouch, has begun in the Greek court system.
The lawyer of the family of the victim said on Wednesday that the family will claim sole custody in the court hearings that are scheduled to begin on Thursday.
Speaking to ANT1 TV, Thanasis Harmanis said that Crouch’s family is requesting sole custody of the child, although they are not going to exclude contacts with Anagnostopoulos’ family. The perpetrator’s parents also have a home on Alonissos, so they will be able to have contact as often as they want, he said.
He also conveyed a statement of the mother of the 20-year-old that read: “He (Anagnostopoulos) took my child from me; if I lose my granddaughter, it will be a deathblow.”
Harmanis made it known that the two families are communicating with each other, but if they do not reach a consensual solution, the Crouch family will submit a request for the sole custody of the child.
“There was a communication with the two families. “If we reach a consensus, we will inform the prosecutor; if not, we will submit our request for exclusive custody to the grandmother,” said the lawyer. “The child will go to either to one family or the other. There can be no joint custody.”
Social services mulls custody of Crouch’s daughter
Ever since the killing, which occurred on May 11, the child had been in the custody of her father. Now, after his murder confession, prosecutors are faced with the extraordinarily difficult question of where the child should be placed in order to be as safe as possible.
According to Article 1532 of the Civil Code of Greece, the prosecutor’s office has two options. Crouch’s baby may be temporarily assigned as the custody of either Crouch’s relatives in Alonissos or to Anagnostopoulos’ family.
Investigations to discover where the child will fare best in the long run have already begun. Social services are examining the living conditions the child would receive in both family homes in order to hopefully come to a conclusion of which one is more suitable for a minor.
However, Article 1532 of the Greek Civil Code also highlights that in extremely urgent cases, the prosecutor can take any and all measures to safeguard the interests and protection of the child, “until the court decision is issued, which must be addressed within 90 days, with the possibility extension of this deadline by an additional 90 days.”
Anagnostopoulos led to jail
On Tuesday Crouch’s husband, Babis Anagnostopoulos, was put on remand (pre-trial detention) following his confession. The prosecutor assigned to the case agreed with the lead investigator that the 33-year-old pilot should be held in state custody while he awaits trial.
Anagnostopoulos spent five hours speaking to a prosecutor and providing his testimony on the crime before his fate was decided upon.
He was then taken out of the courthouse wearing a bulletproof vest by a large police escort and was led into a police vehicle. From there, he was driven straight to Korydallos Prison, Greece’s largest — and certainly most infamous — jail.