BRUSSELS (Aug. 15)
An ultra-Orthodox Jew who kidnapped his three children from his former wife, a Belgian Catholic, arrived here from New York in police custody Monday following extradition from the United States.
Chaim Yarden, 31, an Israeli citizen, was arrested in New York last January after Belgian authorities requested his extradition.
Yarden is accused of abducting the children, Moriah, Simon and Marina, from their school three years ago after a Brussels court awarded custody to their mother, Patricia Heymans.
She has had no word of them or their whereabouts since then.
Yarden, who was a secular Jew at the time of his marriage, became ultra-Orthodox just before he divorced his wife, whom he met in Israel. He has been sentenced here by default to one year in prison.
According to legal sources, he will be kept in jail as long as his children are not found and returned to their mother.
Yarden was tracked down by Heymans’ father, who found him living with the ultra-Orthodox Satmar Hasidic sect in New York.
His search was aided by an organization called “Missing Children” and by members of the Jewish community in New York.
New York police were unable to find the children, however.
Their mother flew to New York last week to enlist the help of the Jewish community.
She is said to have met with an ultra-Orthodox rabbi, who reportedly told her she would never see her children again unless she converted to Judaism and married a Hasid.