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- PA = Pennsylvania
- TN = Tennessee
My Current Home
For reasons of privacy, the location of my family has been blanked
out in some documents. The FBI and my ex-wife are aware of our
location. The documents have not been modified otherwise, and only the
address or name of the country has been removed. Such modifications are
clearly visible, and no other changes or removals have been made. Why have I removed our home information?
In 1995 my ex-wife (Nancy Oberlander) and I moved to Tennessee (TN).
In 1996 my son Aarys was born in TN. In 2001 his mother and I separated
in TN and I left the United States. The divorce was finalized in 2002,
and she lived in TN until late 2004.
In 2004 under court order not to
leave the state of TN without first appearing before the court,
Nancy left and did not provide any forwarding address. It took me
several months to track her down. I found her living in PA. I called
the FBI at that time, and they said they did not get involved in such
We had various custody hearings in both PA and TN in which the mother was repeatedly found in contempt of court and in violation of orders. TN awarded me full custody in Aug 2005 which allowed me unrestricted international travel with Aarys, and for summer visitations with his mother in Pennsylvania (PA).
In summer 2006 I sent Aarys to visit with his mother. Less than two
weeks before the end of summer visitation, she filed for emergency
custody in PA and said that she did not intend to return Aarys to me. A
judge in PA issued a specific order
ordering her to put him on the plane as scheduled and enforcing the
TN order. The judge then set a date for a later hearing. In Oct and Nov
2006 a judge in PA, violated the UCCJEA laws and took jurisdiction over the case
based on the fact that the Aarys's grandparents and mother now live in
PA. I have not lived in PA since 1995, and lived in TN from 1995-2001.
Aarys has never lived in PA for more than 6 months legally as the
UCCJEA requires. In these later hearings, he awarded the mother
temporary custody. However TN continues to exert jurisdiction, and
stated that they hold jurisdiction until the child is 18 even with full
knowledge of PA's interference.
In 2007 TN revoked her ability to apply for a passport for non payment of child support. In 2008 she appealed, and lost. During this appeal, she said she needed the passport to "go get him". When asked she declined to say what "get" or who "him" was (ie, myself or Aarys).
In early 2008, Nancy filed the PA orders and false statements saying that I kidnapped him from Titusville with The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), but failed to inform them of the TN orders. NCMEC listed him as a missing child. My attorney sent them this letter (please read) explaining the situation, but NCMEC has declined to take responsibility.
1995 - Late Spring
Aarys was born in TN.
Feb / Mar - Nancy and I separated. Having no where to live, I immediately pursued opportunities overseas in Europe and remained there.
Apr - Divorce is finalized in TN court.
Throughout 2003 I tried to visit with Aarys, but Nancy prevented visitation. I was able to secure only one visitation, lasting less than 48 hours. Only ocassoinaly was I able to communicate by phone.
In mid 2004, Aarys mentioned to me that they were moving. He tried to tell me where, but all I heard was "Cherry" and then Nancy disconnected the telephone. After this I was not able to reach him again by phone. I knew however that Nancy had considered moving back to somewhere in the tri-state area of Ohio, Pennsylvania, or New York.
Aug 16 - The following letter is sent to Nancy's attorney about her decision to move out of state. Letter
Sep 3 - TN law requires a custodial parent to notify the court 30 days before any out of state move and allow the court to review the situation to make sure that the custody issues are transferred properly to the new state. I alerted the TN court that Nancy intended to move and that I had no idea where. The TN court issued an injunction and served her with it. The injunction did not prevent her from leaving TN, but required her to appear before the court prior to leaving to explain where she was going and ensure a proper transfer of the custody case. Injunction
Sep 20 - I receive this letter telling me that they are moving, but does not say where. It only mentions "Meadville area". Later this turns out to be misleading, as they do not move to the Meadville area but in a neighboring county instead. Letter
Later - Instead of appearing, Nancy disappeared and left no forwarding address. A few weeks later I received a letter postmarked from Pittsburgh, PA. It explained that they had moved, but provided no address, nor telephone number.
Sep 18 (approx) - I also had contacted the Pittsburgh office of the FBI. The FBI declined to get involved saying this is not a matter for them. This is the same division of the FBI that is now trying to extradite me.
Sep 22 - My wife (I had remarried) and I returned to the US and filed proceeding in TN. Through hundreds of phone calls I finally located the school that Aarys was enrolled in in Cherrytree Township, PA. Fax from school
Sep 27 - I visited school for first time. The school treats me like a criminal and refuses to let me even visit Aarys. Finally I convince them to let me have a supervised visit with him. Nancy has told the school that I plan to kidnap him. During the visit, Aarys was afraid of me and shaking. He repeatedly asked to go back to class. He said that he was told by his mother not to speak to me and that I would take him away. The following letter is sent with Aarys to give to his mother regarding weekend visitation. Letter
Sep 29 - At this point, our previous custody arrangement was flexible. We did not know when I would be in the US, so it allowed up to 80 days per year, 30 days max, and with 7 days in between. However Nancy has prevented this. The TN court issues a temporary custody order in my favor for the purpose of the visitation allowed under the custody agreement. It should not be necessary to issue such an order. Order and court opinion
Sep 29 - I visited the school again. By law, I have access to the school records. From the school records I am able to see Aarys' home address.
Sep 30 - Nancy sends me a threatening letter, and providing her mothers address. A real gem. Nancy's letters are always entertaining, so I suggest you read them all. Letter
Oct 1 - Court documents from Sep 29 arrive in PA via FedEx. I filed the papers in Crawford count courthouse and met with Barbara in Meadville to review the case. Summons was filed in Venango County Sheriff's office.
Oct 1 - As per previous request, Aarys was supposed to arrive at my parents house to meet me at 6pm. Aarys did not arrive, and there was no contact from Nancy.
Oct 4 - Called school and explained new TN order and that I would like to pick up Aarys from school. Principal said he would call Nancy to arrange. He tried to call Nancy but phone was busy. Instead she calls the Sheriff's Office, who says that I cannot take the child without a Venango County (PA) order.
Oct 7 - Sent registered letters to Nancy requesting contact information and when Aarys would be available for court mandated visitation. Letter
Oct 13 - Another letter from Nancy. She accuses me of interrogating him. Yet the visit at the school was supervised and the school officials had nothing negative to say. Letter
Oct 15 - Letter from Nancy to my mother. Nothing interesting. Letter
Oct 18 - Sent another registered letter requesting contact information and visitation arrangements. Letter
Oct 26 - Letter from Nancy that instructs me to continue sending child support to the TN address. Apparently she is using mail forwarding, but still refuses to provide a PA address. Letter
Dec 22 - Hearing PA. Judge finally enforces TN order and transfers Aarys to me. Judge orders Nancy to appear at March 14, 2005 hearing in TN. To get Aarys, we have to send the police to take him from the house as Nancy will not release him. This time we have a Venango County order, and they assist. We meet the police a few miles from his house. He is a bit confused at first, but enjoyed the ride in the police car. We explain the best we can to an 8 year old, and after about 20 minutes he is fine. Court Order
Dec 27 - Letter from Nancy to my mother. I can only describe the letter as deranged. She claims we have her address. By this time we did, but only after a lengthy investigation and by getting it from school records. She claims she did not know where she would move. Yet even after she moves, for weeks she refused to provide an address, or telephone. The crank calls are either her imagination or coincidence. Later in the year, she accuses me of stalking her, although at the time we were in Florida (FL). She also later says people are following her. She accuses me of harassing the school. However as a parent, by law I am allowed to look at his school records. That is not harassment. She claims I tried to have Aarys expelled, I never did such a thing. I won't detail the rest line by line, but its written by a mentally troubled person. Read for yourself. Letter
Jan - Mar - We lived in TN and Aarys attended a public school in TN until mid March 2005. During this period we left the country on a one week holiday cruise to Mexico, Jamaica, and Grand Cayman and returned with Aarys.
Feb - Aarys is extremely upset about something. It takes many days to find out why. Although I have been sending $1250 per month, Nancy tells Aarys that I send very little money. She has over 20 cats, a dozen or so dogs, and 4-6 horses. Of these, Aarys is attached to one particular dog. Nancy takes the dog to the pound and tells Aarys it will be put down, "because Dad doesn't send enough money for dog food". All the while, somehow maintaining enough money for the other dogs, and 4-5 horses.
During this time, we also take Aarys to counseling twice per week. The counselor recommends that his mother be subjected to a psychological evaluation and provides me with a letter stating such. To be fair, I volunteer to the court to subject myself to one as well. When we later asked the court for these, the judge in PA says "Why? She looks ok to me."
March 14 - There was another court hearing in TN. Nancy finally showed up this time, because we had custody of Aarys. TN ordered a new custody arrangement in which Aarys would spend the school year with Nancy, and the summers with me abroad. Aarys was transferred back to Nancy, but in June was ordered to put him on a plane for summer visitation with me abroad. We had to leave, because my wife's visa was nearing expiration, and she was also pregnant and soon could not fly. The judge warned Nancy that Aarys better be on the plane, otherwise he would reverse the custody arrangement. It also orders her to immediately apply for his passport so he will be able to travel for his summer visitation. Court Order
Apr - I learn that Nancy has sold or thrown out Aarys' bed and is forcing him to share her bed. Aarys is 8 years old and it is inappropriate. I report this to child services to investigate, but they refuse to even investigate, although PA guidelines require a child at this age have his own bed.
Apr 13 - A letter is sent to Nancy's address regarding the issuance of the passport. Letter
Apr 18 - TN court issues a special court order specifically ordering Nancy to apply for the passport, even though the March 14 order already specifies it. This is because Nancy is showing resistance to apply in time. Order
Apr 25 - Letter of Apr 13 is returned as "delivery refused". Envelope
May 10 - There is no indication that Nancy has attempted to apply for Aarys' passport as required by the March court order. The following letter is sent to her attorney. Letter
May 13 - Nancy finally after a lot of pressure, gets around to applying for the passport. But she has waited until very late, and at this time passports often take weeks to process. Nancy states she needs my signature. I sign a form and it is expressed directly to the office in PA. Letter
May 20 (Received date) - Nancy still has not applied for Aarys' passport, and he is to fly to Cyprus in about 3 weeks. Now she sends a letter stating that he requires some sort of immunizations to travel to Europe. No immunizations are required, but she again stalls for time. She states her attorney has stated this previously, however this is false. Letter
Jun 10 - I purchased a plane ticket and sent the details to Nancy. The time came and passed, and Aarys was not delivered to my parents who had agreed to take him to the airport. My parents then drove to Nancy's house. The doors were closed, and no car was in the driveway. Airline Ticket
Jun 17 - TN court hearing. Reaffirming jurisdiction, and ordering an Aug 12 hearing for Nancy to appear. Court documents
Jun 20 - TN serves and summons Nancy to the Aug 12 hearing. Documents include relevant opinion of the court and history. Documents
Aug 12 - A new hearing was scheduled in TN regarding violation of my summer visitation. I had to travel from Cyprus to the US for this hearing, although Nancy failes to appear. At this hearing the judge reversed custody as he said he would and granted custody to me in the school year, with summer visitations with Nancy. He also reiterated that I was free to travel anywhere abroad with Aarys, and apply for a passport without the need for the mothers signature. The judge also takes jurisdiction over the case until Aarys is 18. One highlight is that the judge states "This court is convinced that this woman will never adhere to the orders of any court that provides this man an opportunity to spend time with his child." Court order and transcript
PA however refused to enforce the order, or let me take Aarys.
Aug 19 - A hearing is held in PA regarding the TN order. PA still refuses to enforce the order, but agrees to order Nancy to appear in TN for yet another court hearing. Court order, and transcript (separate)
Sep - I learn that Nancy has another man living in the house, and that Aarys is being forced to sleep on the couch in the living room, and share it with the tenant. I have no problem if she has decided to take up relations, but at the cost of sharing a living room and not having a proper bed for Aarys is of concern.
Oct 11 - Another hearing is scheduled in TN, and this time I have to travel from Turkey to appear. Nancy also appears with Aarys. The judge reaffirms his decision in August, but is quite irritated at the interference of the PA judge. In addition, Nancy lies on the stand and is called on it by the judge. The judge orders a break, and orders her previous lawyer into the court room and on to the stand. He disputes nearly everything Nancy said. Aarys is transferred to me immediately, and a few days later we return to Turkey where I am living and working for Microsoft. Court Order, Transcript, and Court Opinion.
Nov 18 - We moved to a more permanent location in Turkey. I sent a letter to Nancy with the new address, phone number, school information, etc. To expedite it, I emailed it to my mother who lives in PA. She printed it and mailed it for me so it would not take a long time to be delivered from Turkey.
Dec 21 - Another letter is sent to Nancy informing here that for the Christmas break we are returning to Cyprus for a few weeks. Address, and all telelphone numbers including cellular are included.
Dec 30 - My mother receives this letter from Nancy telling her that she will not accept any more mail from her, anyone in my family, or mail sent by her from me. She says mail sent by her must have my return address, although the post office says they will not accept local mail with foreign return addresses.
Jun - Aarys is sent back from Europe to PA for summer visitation with his mother.
Throughout - Even though I have custody of Aarys, PA has been assessing child support against me. In 2006, I have to pay more than $5,000 or they will revoke my US passport which would present a very big problem for me because I live overseas.
Aug 15 - Although she had Aarys since early June, at the very last minute Nancy files a petition for custody in PA and a judge hears it. A hearing is scheduled for Aug 28, 2 days before Aarys is supposed to be on a return flight to Cyprus. Among other reasons, Nancy claims Cyprus is a dangerous place because it is close to Lebanon. However Lebanon is 100 miles away, separated by the Mediterranean Sea, and Cyprus is a European Union country. Documents
Aug 19 - I cannot possibly attend a Aug 28 hearing on such short notice. It conflicts with my job at Microsoft, and would also be prohibitively expensive. My attorney in PA files both a motion to dismiss, and a motion to continue to a later date if the motion to dismiss is rejected.
Aug 30 - PA Court issues a statement saying that it takes exclusive jurisdiction of the case and sets a new hearing for Nov 6. However the court follows none of the requirements for taking jurisidction. The child has not been in PA for 6 months, and does not contact the TN court among many other items required. However until Nov 6, it states that the TN order is still in effect, and specifically orders Nancy to give Aarys to my parents to be put on the plane back to Cyprus. Court order
Sep 1 - In the morning, Nancy delivers Aarys to my parents in a Sam's Club parking lot near Erie, PA and they travel with him to Cleveland airport. He flies with an escort to Cyprus
Sep 2 - Aarys arrives in Cyprus.
Sep 5 - PA court issues an opinion regarding why it can take jurisdiction. However it still has failed to communicate with the TN court, or establish the child's link to PA. Although it goes to great lengths to establish Nancy's links to PA. TN has taken jurisdiction till the child is 18, and failing that according to UCCJEA, PA would not have jurisdiction, but instead Cyprus would. UCCJEA treats other countries as states, and Aarys at this time has strong ties to Cyprus. Court Opinion
Oct 9 - A motion to continue is filed in PA because an appeal has been filed. Motion
Oct 16 - PA appeals court says that they cannot hear an appeal because the order that was appealed is interlocutory (temporary). However, in PA a temporary order is until the judge removes it. So the order in effect is really permanent and interlocutory is really only a word the judge stuck in there. Appeal denial
Oct 20 - PA now rejects motion for continuance based on the fact that the appeal has been turned down. This leaves me again with about two weeks to travel half way around the world at great expense again. Court document
Oct 30 - In TN, Nancy went through 3 lawyers very quickly. They all quit because they said she was lying to them, and one even testified in court against her. Now in PA, her attorney quits but according to PA law has to be asked to be removed from the case. The judge says its too short of notice and tells the attorney to work for free. Its interesting that one week notice is too short for an attorney who is local, but two weeks notice is considered sufficient for me to take time from my job and fly half way around the world. Request, and denial by the judge.
Nov 6 - Hearing comes and passes. I do not attend as I cannot, and I also dispute jurisdiction of PA. I contend that either TN, or Cyprus now has jurisdiction according to UCCJEA and that PA never had it. All throughout these hearings, I have never been properly served. The judge reschedules the hearing for Dec. The judge orders Aarys to attend personally, but says that I can attend by phone. It becomes obvious that he intends to grab the child and hold him in PA.
Nov 8 - Somehow the judge has appointed an attorney for Aarys himself. Now he orders me to pay half of her fees. Order
Nov 30 - TN finally starts to take action on non payment child support by Nancy. For 2005 and 2006, TN assessed her child support, and PA assessed child support against me.
Dec 12 - A letter from my attorney informing the court that I do not intend to appear for the Dec 27 hearing. Letter
Dec 27 - PA judges holds hearing and finds me in contempt of court. However PA stil has no jurisdiction over Aarys, or myself and I still have never been properly served. The judge now also orders me to pay for Nancy's attorney, because she says she cannot afford to. He also orders me now to pay the full fees of the attorney the court appointed for Aarys. Nancy contends she does not know where Aarys is, however she has been repeatedly given full address and contact telephone numbers in Cyprus. Court document
Jan 10 - Nancy continually asserts that she has little contact with Aarys, however it is because she rarely answers the phone. Now she has disconnected the telephone and not provided us with a new telephone number. My PA attorney sends a letter to her attorney requesting a new phone number to allow Aarys to call here. It is sent to her lawyer, because Nancy has returned mail sent directly to her. Letter
Jan 25 - PA orders me to pay more fees to the lawyer they appointed for Aarys. Order
Jan 26 - A hearing about child support occurs in TN. Nancy fails to appear, despite being summoned. Child support is set at only $305 per month, but it is something. Document
Mar 7 - TN child support order is registered in PA for enforcement purposes. Document
Mar 14 - Nancy's brother is arrested for having sexual relations with an 11 year old. I mention this because earlier I had requested that Nancy be submitted to a mental evaluation as I believe there is a family history in addition to specific concerns about her. In addition to this brother, another brother is in and out of jail for drug use, stalking, and other crimes. Her sister is mentally ill (I believe schizophrenic) and lives in a special facility for people with such conditions. Newspaper article
Apr 19 - Nancy files a letter with the PA court objecting to the TN child support. However federal law does not allow one state to modify another states child support determination. Later the judge instead interferes and simply refuses to enforce it. Letter
Apr 24 - PA judge refuses to enforce the TN child support order. Court order
May 10 - PA issues continuance until May 31. Court order
Oct 29 - Nancy's brother is charged with the offenses detailed on Mar 14. Criminal Record
Dec 13 - PA issues an order for me to pay for more attorney fees. Court order
Dec 31 - PA judge retires. Yes that's right! Makes a huge mess, then retires!
Jan 2 - A hearing in TN is held to listen to Nancy's appeal about child support. Nancy attends by phone. In this hearing, they find that TN acted correctly and deny her appeal. There is no transcript, however certain items are relayed to me by others in attendance. Nancy is a woman who hates to travel. In fact she is a bit of a hermit, and even traveling to the next city is a big trip for her. She states in this hearing that she has applied for a passport (most Americans don't have passports, they usually don't need them) and was denied. This was because TN asked that it be blocked. She says that she needs a passport to "go get him". They ask her what that meant. She fails to elaborate, only repeating that she needs her passport to "go get him". She does not elaborate who him is, myself or Aarys, neither does she elaborate what "get" means. In years past, Nancy had threatened me but I had dismissed it. The fact that she actually considers now to go beyond a city and into another country (something she has never done) is very worrisome. My wife becomes very concerned. My wife is a former Russian Attorney and dealt with many criminal cases and becomes concerned that Nancy will fulfill her threats or hire someone to harm me, or her. Because of this, shortly after this we decided to move to a "protected location". After this time we continued to send letters, and had Aarys call her mother (his grandmother) and try to reach her there, because we still had no phone for her. Court document
Jan 28 - Nancy requests that the PA court issue a bench (arrest) warrant for me. I have not attached the document as it contains a lot of personal information that could be used for identity theft, however there is nothing significant other than her requesting an arrest warrant.
Mar 4 - Special Police (Russian) arrive at our former residence in St Petersburg Russia to inquire about Aarys. They say they have been sent at request of the American Embassy. They are polite but quite forceful and suggest they can deport Aarys and I from Russia. By this time, because of the events of Jan 2 we have decided to move to a safer location.
Mar 5 - I sent an email to the American Embassy in Moscow asking if they were seeking contact with me. Email
Mar 14 - A reply arrives from the American Embassy. They state that I am welcome to visit the American Embassy to present my documents. I explained to them that I was hours away by plane from the nearest Embassy or Consulate and felt it unnecessary to personally visit. I would however be happy to transmit the documents to them, and allow them to speak to my lawyers. After this reply, they never responded again. Email from Embassy
Apr 1 - April Fools Day. PA issues an arrest warrant for my failure to appear. None of my attorneys are notified, and I am never served. We only learn about this arrest warrant in Oct 2009 when it is referenced in the extradition documents. Warrant
Apr 12 - The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) puts Aarys on the missing children list using false information. They state that "Aarys was last seen on November 6, 2006. He may be in the company of his non-custodial father. They are believed to be in Russia. Aarys has a scar under his right eye and a scar under his chin." This is blatantly false. Nov 6 was the date of a PA court hearing, not any date regarding Aarys whereabouts. Aarys was sent by his mother, under specific court order on Aug 30, 2006 to me in Cyprus. Second, it states it in such a way to lead people to believe he was both abducted, and by unknown people. It is well established that Aarys is with me, and not some stranger. It also states "non-custodial" father, while the only permanent custody order gives me full custody. She only has a temporary order, and it has no jurisdiction. At this point, we stop sending photos to Nancy because we fear she will only use them for wanted posters. NCMEC poster as of Apr 12, 2008
Apr 20 - Nancy files for bankruptcy. This is interesting, because Nancy is fully capable of working. She however once told me "People should only work if its fun. If you can't find a fun job you shouldn't work". She has occasionally worked, but never holds a job long, finding it always "boring" or blaming the people she works with as being "incompatible". Last summer visitation, Aarys told her she could at least work at McDonald's until she found something better. She told him "They don't hire people who have cats, because people with cats have cat hair". No, I am not making this up.
Apr 23 - Nancy includes the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) in TN in her bankruptcy filing. However child support cases are exempt from bankruptcy filings and cannot be dismissed or altered by bankruptcy. The only way to address the child support, is to deal with TN directly which she refuses to do for child support, or custody. TN decides to defend themselves legally, and does. TN still assesses child support on Nancy.
May 7 - The following letter is sent from my Federal Attorney to NCMEC. It informs them that the documentation given to them was in error, and also many other court documents were omitted. Letter
May 9 - During the divorce I gave the house, car and many other things to Nancy. She later sold the house in TN, and moved to PA. I don't know the exact financial details, but given the circumstances she should have owed very little if anything on the house in PA which was valued at a much lower price than the house in TN. I do know that her mortgage payment was $200 or less per month. Much less than one could be expected to pay for rent, even for a small apartment. I also know she could earn far more than this amount by taking a minimum wage job at McDonald's, Grocery store or other. Yet somehow she lets the house go into foreclosure. Foreclosure and Sheriff's sale notice Now we have no phone number, nor address for Nancy and her whereabouts are unknown. Combined with her earlier threat, it becomes even more unsettling. Despite this, we still have Aarys try to reach his mother via her mother's house.
Jun 6 - NCMEC changes the poster to add Bahrain. It now reads "They are believed to be in Cyprus or Bahrain." Poster as of Jun 6, 2008
Jul 29 - NCMEC responds, but fails to look at UCCJEA or other issues.
Aug 1 - Reply is sent to NCMEC pointing out several errors in their analysis regarding their Jul 29 communication.
Dec 30 - Bank did not receive minimum bid or for some other reason was unable to sell Nancy's foreclosed house. Now it appears on the real estate listings for $49,000. Listing
Apr 14 - Led by FBI Agent Kirk Brace (Formerly of the Maryland Joint Terrorism Task Force), two agents visit my mothers house. They tell her that I better return Aarys or they will charge me with International Kidnapping.
Jun 5 - Cyprus Secret Police visit tenants renting our house in Cyprus and inquire about "An American living here". Tenants inform them that no American currently lives there.
Jul 18 - NCMEC poster changes to read "Cyprus or Bahrain" instead of "believed to be in Cyprus or Bahrain".
Oct 13 - Oct 27 - Bulgarian police arrest me in Sofia on an Interpol notice from the US. Complete story including my 2 week stay in a Bulgarian prison.
Nov 3 - Three representatives of the US Embassy visit the tenants renting our house in Cyprus. Michael Samaras, Bleu Lawless and a rather young blond woman.. At first they ask for my son. The tenant told them that he did not live there and that he has rented the house for nearly 2 years. The representatives said they are there to deliver a new passport for Aarys, because his has expired and they were concerned that Aarys might be stuck in some country. Aarys passport is not expired, even though they claim it was. The tenant said that he was amazed that three representatives would appear in person 100 kilometers from the Embassy to deliver a passport that was not asked for. They replied, "Isn't that what every government is doing, especially when it comes to children?" The conversation then proceeded as follows, as described by the tenant (his exact words, not mine):
Hi this Bleu Lawless, we were at your house earlier today. We wanted to let you know that Mr. Hower has been detained in Bulgaria for kidnapping and is already extradited to the US. (Then he told me something about the European law and how it affected me and that I somehow was involved since I lived in EU. But since I didn’t really understand the legal vocabulary that he was using it is difficult for me to relate exactly what he said.)
You see, we do not believe you are telling us the truth, we know that you know where the family is. You seem to be a good guy and we would prefer to keep your name out this case. Therefore we would like to give you a chance to tell us were they are. If you tell us the truth then we will keep you out of this. Otherwise we will have to hand your name over to the Cypriot police and as you probably know, they do not always follow the laws.
The visitors did not however know that the person they visited is a religious minister. If he chose to go to court, I suspect his testimony would be given credibility. Think the visitors were bluffing? I don't think so, the US Embassy in Cyprus has made false reports before to the Cyprus authorities. In this statement they lie again, I have not been extradited. And the tenant does not know where I currently live, so he cannot tell them even if he wanted. Why is the FBI resorting to threats?
Nov 4 - A representative of another US Embassy visits our current home (a days travel from nearest US Embassy) and demands to take my son from the house. He declares himself as a "Regional Security Officer" again. We learn that his name is Mr Hinds. He has no documents, foreign or local, but says he can get them. He has brought local police and demands they act by intimidating them. He attempts to take Aarys out of the country illegally and bypass the court system. Our lawyer arrives and explains to him that if he or the police persist without any local orders, he will be the subject of arrest himself because he is in foreign country. Mr Hinds is "asked" to leave the country quickly by a federal government official, or face charges.
Nov 5 - My wife has been followed by cars driving slowly (in an area where cars do not drive slowly normally) while she walks near our home, and we receive confirmation that Mr Hinds is still in the country.
Nov 12 - I was rearrested in the evening by Bulgarian authorities at the request of the US Government. Official documents arrive from the US. The prosecutor says this is standard procedure. However in the documents from the American Government, it is also explicitly requested that I be detained again.
Nov 13 - I was released by a Bulgarian judge who again freed me from arrest. Details - Scroll to bottom
Nov 17 - A Fedex envelope containing personal and private documents is sent in my name from a company in the US to my house. When it arrives, it has markings that it has been opened by US Customs for inspection. We ship many packages and envelopes from the US. Occasionally packages are opened by US Customs for inspection and this is normal. However this is the first envelope that has ever been opened. Was it normal procedure? Or was I targeted and the contents copied?
Nov 18, 2009
On Oct 13 Interpol took all my credit cards, passports, and other ID cards. They were placed under seal and were to remain sealed until the final trial. One of my credit cards I keep for emergency use and rarely use the card. In the last year, it has only been used for two companies. Today on Nov 18, three charges were charged to my card in the United Kingdom. One of them appears to be a physical swipe, which means my card has been cloned. I'm not familiar with cloning, but I believe to clone a card it requires the physical card and not just the number in most cases. If my card has been in a sealed evidence room by Interpol in Bulgaria, how is it that my credit card has been cloned and is now being used in the United Kingdom? If the evidence has been tampered with, what else might there be? Will my computer now contain plans for a terrorist plot?
Nov 19, 2009
A trial date is set for Tue Nov 24 at 10:00 am.
Nov 23, 2009
The timing of this is extremely suspect. One day before the trial that will likely set me free, the police call again. As previously stated, I did not enter Bulgaria on my American passport. I entered on my other passport. I did this legally, and the passport is genuine. The Americans know it is genuine and have contacted the issuing government who has verified it is genuine. But someone has told the Bulgarian authorities that it is fake. They cannot tell us where the charge came from, but it is obvious that it came from the US Government.
The police investigator keeps referring to my "fake" passport as if he is already decided. If charges are filed, it will take months or possibly even a year to sort out. During this time I could be detained in prison. We are of course gathering documentation to counter this, and my passport is genuine. But its just another sign of the desperate measures of the FBI to keep me from reaching home again with my family.
Nov 24, 2009
Nov 24 was a busy day with three distinct events. Because of this I have made entries for each event.
10:00 Final Trial
We traveled to Sofia and met with my lawyer. A little past 10:00, the trial started. Kimberly Atkinson was present from the Embassy with a translator. There were three judges present, in civil law countries this is common. They act as a panel, much like in Appellate Courts in the US. In the end they decide as we expected, according to the Extradition Treaty with the US, the crime I have been accused of is not extraditable. The US knew this from the start, yet detained and harassed me in Bulgaria for nearly 2 months.
The prosecution can appeal within 7 days however, so the items that were seized are not returned to me yet, and I cannot leave Bulgaria quite yet.
Police Station #1
By far, the weirdest event of the week. At 2:30 we went to Police Station #1 in Sofia to meet with an investigator who has been given my passport and says it is fake. Since we only heard about this yesterday, we've had very little time to prepare supporting paperwork. Despite this, we have copies of an apostilled letter from the passport office and department of internal security. We also have copies of federal court documents proving my citizenship. These documents counter act most of the investigators allegations. We had hoped he would look at the situation and decide that the investigation was a simple misunderstanding started for political reasons. Instead, he turns quite hostile.
We are in his office with my Bulgarian lawyer and a translator provided by the Government of Bulgaria. The translator has been involved in the case since the first day I was arrested and has become very familiar with the case. He has been at every hearing as well. The investigator refuses to give the name of his supervisor, or the prosecutor for this case to my lawyer. Even after she pleads and eventually forcefully requests it from him, he refuses and says we have no right to such information. He has a large folder of documents relating to me that is 3 cm (1 inch) thick. I can see it contains the extradition request and many other documents unrelated to the passport investigation. It also contains a CD-R, and documents that could only have come from the US Embassy.
I ask to inspect my passport to make sure it has no been damaged, and he refuses. The passport is in a plastic bag sealed with a staple. He takes it in and out several times, always resealing it with a staple. After we overcome all his initial objections he still insists that it is fake. He says the criminal process has already started and it will take at least 2 months to sort out, possibly even a year. My lawyer objects and informs him that the extradition has been denied, and that next week I will be free to travel but require my passport to do so. The investigator says that an expert has already looked at my passport and has said that it has not been altered. If it has not been altered, then the only possibility is that I found someone who looks just like me and was born on the same date and stole it? He refuses to speculate how that is possible.
I asked the investigator why he had not initiated a diplomatic request to the issuing country of my passport regarding its authenticity. Yesterday my wife contacted the Attorney General's Office and they said that is what should be done if Bulgaria had any concerns about my passport. The investigator said that the police could not do this, only the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bulgaria, and that would take a lot of time.
Instead he says that he is not sure that it is me in the passport photo. The photo is only 2 months old because I recently renewed the passport. Its obvious to anyone that the photo is me. I ask him to simply look at the picture and then at me. He says he cannot do that, an expert must do it. He then says that I must be photographed and finger printed so that an expert can verify if it is me or not in the passport photo. I agreed to be photographed, but I told him absolutely under no circumstances would I consent to being fingerprinted. I had not been convicted of any crime, and despite much worse allegations, they had not fingerprinted me so far and there was no reason for him to do so. After all, where would these fingerprints end up next? Planted in some crime scene? My passport does not have my fingerprints, neither does the issuing country, so how would finger prints help? After we overcame that objection, he said that by Bulgarian law people are required to carry identification. Since he had my passport, I had no identification so he needed the fingerprints to issue me a temporary Bulgarian identification card. I stood my ground and refused to be finger printed. He responded by saying "Well then the investigation will take longer because we don't have your finger prints".
We went down to another office where a photographer took my picture. After the photo was taken, the photographer asked to see my passport. The investigator replied "Its sealed evidence, you can't see it". Yeah, sealed with a staple. Official protocol I guess. Both my lawyer and the translator laughed at his response. We asked him how long it would take an expert to compare the photo with the one in the passport. He responded that he had no idea, it was up to the expert and that it could take weeks or months.
So now that I've been set free from extradition, somehow magic new charges have appeared to detain me in Bulgaria and prevent me from returning home. The investigator refused to say where the charges came from, but it is pretty obvious based on his behavior and other factors that someone is pressuring the Bulgarian police through unofficial channels to pursue this malicious investigation.
Franklin, PA - Population 7,000
Nancy has obtained yet another free lawyer and files a new petition. She receives a new court order in a rural county in PA. The petition contains many false statements. Here is one of my favorites.
Russia is very far away from home (14 hours by jet), and such an action would require a large jet and cost $100,000 or more. But this is all part of their game to slander me with baseless accusations. They made such accusation to Bulgaria as well to try to justify their request to detain me in prison again. The use of the word hiding is interesting. The mother disconnects her telephone and moves without giving us an address, and that somehow makes me the one who is in hiding? Petition
The resulting order is very strange, including an order from a village judge ordering another country to do something. As on of my lawyers put it "Someone should tell this judge other countries are not part of the US, nor part of PA".
Not even a Federal Court order can be enforced in a foreign country, let alone one issued by a village judge. The judge also misspells the country name, that should make them happy. Many Americans think "What's wrong with this". Let's reverse this situation. What would you think of a judge in a remote village of Bulgaria issuing a court order ordering the US Government to do something? Court Order
Nov 26, 2009
The investigator calls my Bulgarian lawyer and tells her that he has asked the prosecutor if it is OK to give the prosecutor's information to my lawyer. He also says he has initiated a proper (finally!) request with the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, here it gets weird again. After all its been two days, time for weirdness again right? The Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs says that they have no diplomatic relations with my country and does not know how to contact them. Google anyone??? I even offered them a phone number of the proper Government office and a person's name. Surely someone could pick up a phone and make a call to find out at least who to talk to in this matter. Official diplomatic relations are not required for diplomatic communications, and I know for a fact there are protocols for communicating through another country's Embassy which is in Bulgaria who can represent my country in such matters. To be clear, there is no dispute between Bulgaria and my country, its only that Bulgaria and my country are not exactly neighbors and don't have economic or other ties. They are friendly enough that my passport allows me entry into Bulgaria and other European countries without requiring a visa.
Nov 30, 2009
Bulgaria is still holding my computer, credit cards etc. They are scheduled to be released to me on Dec 2. One passport has been seized by the US Embassy. The other passport they are saying is fake and have taken out of evidence and holding (Its not fake!). But now they say I need an identification to receive my items - but they took my passports.... so I have no identification to receive my items!
Dec 2, 2009
Appeal Period Expires
The end of the business day yesterday was the deadline for the prosecution to file an appeal regarding the decision which denied my extradition to the US. This means that the decision to deny extradition is final. However I am still stuck in Bulgaria. It will take another week or two to remove my name from the border control system which prevented me from leaving Bulgaria. The items which were taken from me also have not been returned, but should be returned next week.
The holding of my passport remains an issue, and the police have given us more excuses. Without my passport I am unable to leave Bulgaria or travel anywhere even if I could leave. They say that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was able to send a proper query but has not received an answer yet. They also informed us that the lines of communication between the police and Ministry of Foreign Affairs is very slow and has to go through some sort of bureaucracy.
I believe that I know what the US Authorities are planning next. I dare not say it in case I am wrong I may give them ideas. However the first step is for them to delay the return of my passport for several months which they are already trying to do.
At 4:45pm local time my wife was served with a summons ordering her to appear in court at 9:00am the next morning. The summons referred to a Nov 19 filing, and states that my wife was served on Nov 26. This is incorrect, she was only served just now. Serving someone with an order to appear in court with less than 18 hours notice is at best, unprofessional. And at 4:45pm, how is one supposed to obtain a lawyer before the next morning? There is no doubt that this was another deliberate act. Her name is not even properly written, in fact they have somehow used the first name of our 4 year old son for my wife. Or do they intend to interrogate our 4 year old?
Home Country - 4:45 pm
The same police officer which who previously attempted to assist a US official (see Nov 4) to kidnap my son shows up at the door and delivers to my wife a summons. The summons lists our 4 year old as the recipient, however it is intended for my wife. The summons says that my 4 year old son must appear in court tomorrow morning at 9am.
The summons states that it was requested on Nov 19, and that it was delivered on Nov 26. Despite it stating a Nov 26 delivery, it was just delivered now. It was deliberately delayed until the evening before the court hearing to make it difficult for my wife to obtain a lawyer.
The summons declares that my ex-wife has accused my wife of preventing her from seeing her son. However she has made no request to my wife for visitation.
Dec 3, 2009
Despite our lawyer having a severe case of the flu, we reach him and he is able to attend court. The officer who delivered the summons yesterday (lets call him Officer Doolittle) is very friendly in the courthouse and says he was only acting on instructions. Officer Doolittle often attends training classes in the US with the FBI. One wonders, whose instructions exactly was he acting on? Those of proper authorities in our country, or more unofficial requests from the American authorities?
My ex-wife is also in the court house. The US Department of State revoked her passport and her appeal to have it reinstated was denied. So exactly who is helping her to circumvent such restrictions? It also appears that the US Government or NCMEC has paid for her flight and hotel expenses. Very caring of them. Even if I were to volunteer to go back to the US, they said I would have to pay for my own flight.
It is well known that my wife is breast feeding and has a 10 week old girl to care for. Despite being told to appear at 9am, when my wife and one of our lawyers arrived at the court the matter was scheduled last. Again, this appears to be intentional. The judge was informed that our other lawyer was unavailable at the time and was in another court proceeding. Our lawyer who was present asked for an adjournment because of the intentional last minute notice. The judge was quite surprised of this news, because the matter was filed Nov 19 and service should have been performed with proper time to prepare. The judge requested who was responsible for serving the summons. The lawyer told the judge that it was Officer Doolittle. However Officer Doolittle denied that he served my wife and said he merely "accompanied" another police officer who delivered the summons. I'm touched by how much personal interest Officer Doolittle continues to take in this matter.
Nancy's lawyer tries to change "on the fly" the court documents to reflect my wife's name instead of our 4 year old son. While in the hall, the lawyer treats my wife very rudely and tries to request information from her outside of the court hearing. My wife wisely refuses.
The judge asks my wife about the matter of the summons being delivered. After hearing how it occurred, the judge issues an order preventing anyone from removing my son from the country and schedules a new hearing for Mon Dec 7.
Dec 11, 2009
Return of my items
Today we traveled to Sofia to receive my items. The police captain provided a letter response to my complaint about my credit cards being used while they were in sealed evidence. He was visibly upset at the accusation and seemed glad to get this case out of his hair. He showed us how the evidence bags were sealed with wax seals. However we already know that the bags had been opened to remove my passport. And more to the point, the officers wrote my full credit card numbers on the evidence sheet which has been passed around numerous departments of both the Bulgarian and US governments. But here is the real kicker - the credit cards were stored in a sealed bag. However the bag was transparent and loose. I quickly demonstrated to him how you could slide the cards around and easily read any details off the front or bag without unsealing the bag.
Last week the prosecutor requested a certified copy of a specific document from the issuing government of my passport. It should arrive next week. However until then I remain without identification which is an offense in most countries. Not only can I not stay in any hotels, but if I am stopped on the street I can be taken to jail. Realizing this, the prosecutor requested the police who are investigating my passport to issue me a temporary ID card. The police replied to him with a nasty letter stating that since they believe my passport is fake, they have no way to issue me a temporary ID as they cannot prove who I am. This is quite amazing, considering they felt there was no question of my identity when they arrested me. I've stated previously that there was unofficial pressure being placed on someone in the police station by the American authorities, and this seems to confirm it.