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Mystery baby Maria given by birth parents, Roma couple father claims

Last update: 16:06

In testimony to an examining magistrate on Monday, the 39-year-old Roma man who had custody of little Maria, the blonde and green-eyed girl found living with him and his 40-year-old Roma wife in Farsala, claimed that the girl had been turned over into their care by a Bulgarian Roma and her birth mother, also a Roma, when she was still a baby.

According to his lawyers, the couple have asked the authorities to locate a cell phone that they claim belonged to the individual that intervened for the delivery of the child, possibly belonging to the Bulgarian man referred to in the suspect's testimony, in order to shed light on the case.

When the request was made his testimony was interrupted for approximately 15 minutes so that it could be considered but resumed shortly afterward, since it could not immediately be acted upon immediately, requiring an order from the Misdemeanour Court Justices' Council.

The magistrates are now hearing the testimony of the 40-year-old woman that had presented herself as the child's mother.

According to sources, the 39-year-old referred to both the Bulgarian middle-man and the birth mother by name, so that they can be sought and found and has also claimed that the child's real mother is living in Greece.

Regarding the rest of the couple's numerous children, the 39-year-old said offered to undergo DNA tests to prove that at least five are his own children, while the rest he said belong to his partner.

Once both have testified, the examining magistrate and public prosecutor will confer to decide on whether they should be remanded in custody or released.

The case emerged after police conducting a routine raid in the Roma settlement in Farsala spotted the little girl and became curious about her origins, due to the scant resemblance to the couple presented themselves as her parents. Their suspicions were further aroused when the couple gave conflicting accounts about how she came to be with them and by irregularities in registration of their other children (with six births registered within months of each other), while a DNA test proved conclusively that Maria was not their child, as they had claimed.


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