(NOBLESVILLE) - A global child custody fight has resulted in an arrest warrant against a Noblesville man, who is accused of taking his son to Greece to keep the child away from his ex-wife in Indiana.
Stephen Dean of TheIndyChannel.com reports that FBI agents in Indianapolis have obtained an arrest warrant for Nikolaos Zagaris of Noblesville, charging him with international parental kidnapping.
In court papers filed last week, agents write that Zagaris took his 12-year-old son to Greece, telling his ex-wife in Noblesville that, "she was dead to him and she would be to (the child) as well." Agents said his threat mentioned that he and his son would never again set foot in the United States, even though custody of the boy had been awarded to the ex-wife.
A Greek national, Zagaris was working toward becoming a legal resident of the U.S. when agents said the process was knocked off track by his arrest in 2008.
Agents said Zagaris was booked into the Hamilton County Jail on a felony charge of grabbing his ex-wife in a strangle hold. He was also charged with domestic battery.
A Hamilton County judge then awarded custody of the couple's son to the ex-wife, but allowed the boy to visit his father in Greece for 10 weeks every year.
FBI agents wrote in their arrest warrant that the child was sent and returned from Greece, as agreed, in December 2009 and again in March 2010.
The child flew from Indiana on June 2, 2011, and was scheduled to return home to Noblesville in August 2011, but agents wrote that Zagaris said he was no longer paying child support and ended up keeping the son in Greece.
The Noblesville ex-wife filed proceedings with the United States Department of State for interference with a child custody order. That resulted in a court ruling by Greek courts in September 2012 that the child must be returned to Indiana.
Court records show Zagaris filed an appeal of that ruling, but Greek courts rejected that appeal in December.
The arrest warrant now on file allows federal agents to arrest Zagaris anytime he would be spotted at a U.S. airport, and it also allows the federal government to begin requesting extradition back to the United States to face the charges.
To read more on this story visit http://www.theindychannel.com/news/local-news/fbi-noblesville-man-took-kidnapped-son-to-greece
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