07.08.2009

Khalid Skah

 

The Olympic Champion attacked by “Royal Lions” – the Norwegian legal system

 

In Morocco

After his Olympic victory in Barcelona in 1992, Khalid Skah married to the one year older Norwegian lawyer, Anne Cecilie Hopstock, this according to the most unreliable www.wikipedia.com. Still according to Wikipedia, the Skah-family relocated with their two children to Morocco in 2006. Both of the children have dual citizenship; Moroccan and Norwegian.

 

The commando attack

According to Wikipedia and Sudan Vision, a few weeks ago (June 21 2009) armed men (likely being secret Norwegian commandos, which you might find other places in the world acting in different Royal missions) broke in to Mr. Skah’s apartment, grabbed his two minor children aged 13 and 16, and transported the kids to the Royal Embassy of Norway or to the ambassadors residence in Rabat, Morocco, where they stayed for some three days until the chartered ship was ready to set sail for Spain.

 

According to the Associated Press (AP), referring from a Governmental statement, the children in question is of Moroccan nationality, they are minors, and they cannot leave national territory without the authorisation of their father.

 

After sun comes rain

Some time after the couple had settled down in Morocco in 2006, they split up. Hopstock went back to Norway, to start fighting for the custody over the children. Skah was understandably not aware of what the Norwegian legal system is capable of doing to persons that it consider doesn’t deserve to be protected by its laws, and thus did not prepare any necessary defence. 

 

The plan

Presenting a “legally enforceable document” from a Norwegian court to Moroccan authorities, Hopstock knew her chance to have full access to their children would redouble, which in turn would ease her way to have the children “transported” to her country, the Kingdom of Norway, if necessary with the help from the embassy or whatever means that would be required to have the children moved from A to B. Furthermore such a legal document was her ticket to the press, to ignorant Norwegian journalists who never question anything that taste of “binding” judicial decisions.

 

Making hell

First step for Hopstock was to file the standard criminal complaint against the always and everlasting mean EX (which for some obscure reason always changes character just before a break-up), doing whatever to get it her way. According to Verdens Gang, she filed the criminal complaint in Oslo in 2007 some ½ year after she had left Morocco, alleging that the kids were in “mortal danger”, in another country, and not in just any country, in Morocco.

 

Hopstock stated that she also was in mortal danger and that she had been threatened by Skah, but this serious and continuous threat didn’t stop her from paying Skah a visit kicking a hole in his front door while he was at home.

 

Reading the news about this case, it seems that Hopstock didn’t file any criminal complaints against Skah in Morocco, where the mortal danger was suppose to exist.

 

In June 2009, two years later, the kids were still alive, and still in mortal danger according to the scorned ex-wife.

 

Mortal danger? Well, why not, this is eaten raw by the judges and the media in Norway, especially when the father is not from Norway. And of course, it helps screaming on a sleeping person (or a polar bear) if you want him to wake up and do something silly at the same time. And why not use the same mortal-danger-argument when answering journalists asking why the Royal Norwegian minister of foreign affairs, Jonas Gahr Stoere, opened the royal doors in Morocco for the kidnapped children this summer. One question pops up though: What is mortal danger, really?

 

Acquiring a judgment

As a lawyer (we have to rely on Wikipedia here) Hopstock knew that it would be a piece of cake to get a judgment in her favour from a Norwegian court, and she would have no problem getting this in secret either. So next step was then to file a custody-/parental rights-case against her ex, and in 2008 Oslo City Court hurriedly passed their default judgement – as expected – giving Hopstock full custody over their children.

 

Making more hell

To help the news readers to believe Hopstock’s story, Skah has been accused of kidnapping the children. Kidnapping, that’s a serious crime, but it is as serious to accuse someone of doing this if it is not true.

 

So, where is the evidence of the alleged kidnapping in this story? Hopstock married to a – to her – foreigner. They chose to relocate to Morocco. The marriage collapsed. Hopstock moved to Norway, without the children (I guess it is quite difficult to bring the children out of Morocco in such a situation, as it is if it had happened in Norway). Where is the evidence of kidnapping? As for now, we can’t find such evidence, nevertheless the Norwegian newspapers continue referring to this case as a kidnapping-case, which of course has been duly filed in the most unreliable encyclopaedia of Wikipedia.

 

How to solve a problem: What to do and what not to do

Anyway, if Hopstock feels that she is a much better parent than Skah, and thus thinks it’s the stupidest question ever to ask who the children should live with, then she is free to file a parental rights case in Morocco, as Norwegian courts is not an option.

 

Assuming that both parents are Norwegian, living in Norway, fighting over their children, then – according to the Norwegian Childrens Act §36, second section – it is up to the court to decide where the children are to live. Thus it is not for Hopstock to decide this by herself, neither is it up to the Roayl Embassy or the Minister of foreign affairs.

 

There are several important facts in this case in which consequences the media has not written much about, e.g. that the family have relocated to Morocco. In this particular legal environment the Norwegian Childrens Act §82 is regulating the question of Norwegian jurisdiction in regards to parental right-cases. Such a case can be filed before a Norwegian court only if the person in question is either domiciled in Norway, the child is domiciled in Norway or if the question in regards to parental or visiting rights has been judged upon in an earlier case in Norway.

 

None of these three conditions are fulfilled as both Skah as well as his children are domiciled in Morocco, consequently the case was inadmissible in Norwegian courts.

 

This didn't stop the Oslo City Court from admitting this inadmissible case. But of course, when you are “taking care of” the judge (which is not unusual in Norway as there are no real or reliable bodies controlling judicial activity in the country) he/she is willing to go all the way for the principal. Extensive corruption in the Norwegian courts is a huge problem, and for most western critics of south and east politics; non-existent.

 

Service of judicial documents abroad

Morocco is not a member to the Hague (Service) Convention. This means that if Norwegian authorities intend to serve a judicial document in Morocco, this must be done through the traditional diplomatic channel. This is a somewhat time consuming exercise, but nevertheless it has to be done, correctly.

 

The document – whether it is a writ of summons or any other judicial paper – could then have this travel path: the court signs its decision (anyone that has got a decision/judgement from Norway should be aware of the fact that judgements/decisions in Norway are rarely signed by the judges, or by anyone else for that matter, consequently the decision is null and void) and dispatch it to the Ministry of Justice è Ministry of Foreign Affairs è diplomatic/consular representation in Morocco (somewhere on this trip the document has to be translated into the language of the State of destination) è Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Morocco è Ministry of Justice, Morocco, if accepted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

 

If the Moroccan Ministry of Justice accepts the document and the decision – after having assessed the document and having tried its merits[1] – the document is ready to be served according to Moroccan rules, most likely by the competent authority/judicial officer.

 

Normally a Norwegian judicial officer/judge would just send the decision by ordinary mail to the addressee, in Norwegian, and then hastily conclude that the document is served, this according to Norwegian procedural law, which by the way does not apply in other countries.

 

There are reasons to believe that this Norwegian decision which has been used as some sort of a door opener to the press as well as to get Governmental assistance in kidnapping these children to Norway is not legally binding as:

 

·        Norwegian courts have no jurisdiction.

·        The writ of summons has not been served.

·        The summons to the main hearing has not been served.

·        The court deprived Skah’s rights to be heard (lack of contradiction)

·        The judgement is not signed.

·        The judgement is not served.

·        The judge has neither signed the mandatory oath to the King (see the Norwegian Constitution § 21) nor the oath swearing the judge in (see the Norwegian Procedural Act §60). In this regard these two articles in Norwegian (I and II) will give you an idea on how big this problem is in Norway.

 

From years of experience of the chaotic Norwegian legal system, as well as three victories in Strasbourg against Norway, this is my educational assumption. I might be wrong on some of the details, but I am almost 100% sure that this judgement will not hold water and thus is legally not binding even if the Norwegian court had jurisdiction.

 

Norwegian Government – How to handle this matter

The Norwegian Government can still find its way out of this mess which their Minister of foreign affairs has put the country in, by intervening in accordance with the Norwegian Procedural Act, §37, which in brief says that:

 

If a court has admitted a case, and this case is not subject to Norwegian jurisdiction, the Government can lodge an objection and declare an appeal to the Supreme Court in order to have the administration of the case as well as the decision declared null and void.

 

*        *        *

 

Some obstacles on (in) the way

There is no need for an in-dept judicial review in order to point out and remind about a few procedural obstacles in this case: If the family had relocated, as stated in Wikipedia, the decision from Oslo City Court is worthless and serves no purpose due to a lack of Norwegian jurisdiction.

 

And just for the sake of the exercise: Did the Oslo City Court serve the writ of summons? Did the Oslo City Court summon Mr. Skah properly (that is; did they serve the judicial documents?) and according to traditional international rules to the main hearing?

 

I dare answer this on behalf of Skah and say no, they most likely didn’t. The consequence – if so – is that this decision from the Oslo City Court has no legal power what so ever even if the Norwegian courts had jurisdiction over the matter.

 

More on the Norwegian legal system – corruption

When it comes to certain groups of persons the Norwegian legal system acts as there were no rights to govern or to protect. Skah is unfortunately in several of these groups.

 

Year after year Norway – to a constantly increasing degree – is summoned before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, and she looses, but she nevertheless doesn’t care. Why? Well, who would ever raise question whether the Country of Peace (the Nobel Peace Price is awarded every year in Oslo, the capital of Norway) is violating any rules or is depriving its citizens their rights? And if anyone of any importance to Norway raise the question, seriously, they would soon be silenced with an offer, not necessarily directly, but e.g. through some kind of an aid.

 

According to the AP referred to in Miami Herald, the Ambassador (and jurist) Bjorn Olav Blokhus handed over the children to Hopstock without knowing she intended to bring them to Norway, that is; without understanding that this Norwegian person was about to violate Moroccan and international law by kidnapping the kids. On top of this the jurist (and former secretary to the ambassador Egil Winsnes in Morocco), rhetorically asked the AP-reporter:

 

"They were underaged. They had Norwegian passports. They asked for protection. What could we do?"

 

Well, he could have helped them contacting relevant national authority, like the police, or something. If these kids really were in mortal danger, this would obviously be a case for the police. And if there were any truth behind this allegation, the police would be obliged to protect the kids. And if Gahr Stoere feels that the Moroccan police does a lousy job (compared to their sleeping colleagues in Norway) and thus felt that he had a legitimate reason to make this a national Norwegian matter on Moroccan soil, then Gahr Stoere should be removed from his position as the Royal foreign minister immediately. If he does not leave his post, he has now created a new problem for himself, as he has opened his office for any requests from children that allegedly are afraid of one of their parents, or just wants to have more fun in another country which seems to be greener than the other. So, what could you do, Mr. Ambassador in Morocco? Maybe you should have instructed your boss instead of acting like a remote controlled rattle-brain?

 

To AP Hopstock’s representative, a lawyer Marte Brodtkorb[2], argued that Skah had held their children against their will[3] for more than two years, and that the kids had Norwegian passports, thus suggesting that there were no legal problem with the cross-border “transport-operation” of these kids. On the contrary, this was how it should be done according to this lawyer.

 

She didn’t tell the AP though that the kids were living in Morocco, that they are Moroccan nationals and that they are carrying Moroccan passports as well. As a lawyer she knows that the decision on these questions is to be handled by a court with jurisdiction, in this case; a Moroccan court.

 

What does this case tell us?

This case more than indicates the legal chaos in the Norwegian legal system:

 

The Norwegian public prosecutor has gone wild in Morocco – from reading the news; most likely based on hearsays – leaving really important cases in Norway unattended.

 

The Oslo City Court has gone wild not only assessing legal matters without jurisdiction but also wilfully depriving the other party’s rights.

 

The Government and its diplomacy has gone wild in Morocco not only permitting its staff to contribute in illegal and criminal actions in foreign jurisdictions (Morocco and Spain), but also opening for a new practice where children of culturally mixed families from now on can rely on the Norwegian foreign minister’s help in any illegal actions on foreign soil, thus directly interfering in other state’s affairs.

 

And finally the press has – thanks to Hopstock – contributed in this mess making it most likely impossible for the children to even think: “This was not really what we wanted. We love our dad. We might have had our disagreements, but we love him. What is happening around us? We don’t want to see/we can’t face anyone after this.”

 

As for now – while the kids daily must face this almost insuperable problem which the media and Hopstock have created – they must be thinking: “We love our dad but now we are almost forced to distance ourselves from our father, agreeing on all the shit the news papers are writing about him. Thank you for destroying our lives!”

 

What to do next?

Unforeseeable problems will always be a factor in mixing cultures, especially when you reject to educate yourself in these cultures thus being unable to handle the “problems” when they occur. Both of the parents have to coop with this, making their best effort in doing what is in the best interest for the “family” as a whole.

 

If this had happened between Norwegian parents the chance is though that none of the parents would see their children again, as the Child Care institution (CCI) in an increasingly degree is intervening in ordinary fights between parents over their children. A well known strategy from the CCI is to obstruct (with absolutely all means) the most resourceful of the parents’ attempt of taking care of the child/children, thus handing the child over to the less resourceful, which in turn will have to inform (or by action or lack of action demonstrate to) the CCI within some months or so that she/he is not capable of doing this alone. Then the road is open for the CCI to take the child and put it into one of the infamous and horrifying Norwegian institutions destroying the kids for the rest of their lives.

 

Anyway, the mother in this particular case, Hopstock, has by far demonstrated that she is totally incapable of acting to the best interest of the kids. Nevertheless, the only right thing to do is to re-establish the legal situation as it was prior to the Hopstock-/Government-actions and thus send the children back to their father in Morocco, and make sure, by a Royal decree, that the kids can travel in and out of Norway without any problems or risks of being kidnapped or in any other way harmed ever again.

 

Herman J Berge

Luxembourg

 

 

RettsNorge.no © 1997 - 2009 • Opphavsrett

 

 

 

 

 



[1] At this point the Moroccan authorities would most likely reject the document on different reasons: No Norwegian jurisdiction, the judgment is not signed, the writ of summons has not been served, the judge has not been sworn in, etc. In other words; basic violations on Human Rights.

[2] Related to the Assistand Director Anne Margot Brodtkorb in the Ministry of Justice?

[3] All children are held against “their will”. Try this simple exercise; leave your child unattended and see what happens. It will always try to extend its boundaries, explore the surroundings, and when explored (and still alive despite being unattended), extend the exploration and in the end run away. That’s why God has given us our parents for so many years. They are there to hold us back, guide us through – at least – the first 15-20 years of our lives and make sure that we don’t do stupid things.