Wednesday, December 15, 2010

'System failed in many ways,' lawyer says (Montreal, Canada)

The Canadian media coverage of the custody case involving former custodial father PREDRAG PIRISIC--who is now in prison and charged with murder and attempted murder for the shootings of his son and daughter--has been consistently of a high quality. The details have been very spare in Texas for some reason. This interview with the mother's attorney is especially interesting. It really explains a lot of what goes wrong with these judges, especially in an international context.

‘System failed in many ways,’ lawyer says

By Max Harrold, The Gazette December 15, 2010 2:03 PM

MONTREAL - Jurisdictional concerns in a child-custody case won out over the best interests of two Montreal children, one of whom was shot to death and the other shot and seriously wounded Monday in Texas, a lawyer for the children’s mother said.

“The system failed in many ways,” said Montreal lawyer Jonathan Shulak, who is representing Vera Vucerakovich, the Montreal mother of two who was in a protracted custody battle with her husband before Monday’s shooting near Houston.

Deyan Perisic, 10, was shot to death and his sister Danyela Perisic, 12, was shot repeatedly in her arms and legs before police arrested their father, Predrag Perisic, 55. He is now in prison facing several charges, including murder and attempted murder.

Shulak said the children were missing since Oct. 26 when their father took them out of school and was on the run with them following a Quebec judge’s order that the children be brought back to live in Montreal while custody was established.

That decision reversed another judge’s decision in April that the children, who were born in Montreal and grew up here, go and live in Texas with their father where a custody hearing was to have taken place. It didn’t and the children went missing this fall.

“They must have been terrified,” Shulak said of the six weeks they spent on the run. Despite all best efforts of the mother and local police, they were unable to find them until Monday night. Police said Predrag Perisic began shooting when he heard officers arriving.

Vicky Pololos, 23, a cousin of the two children, said Danyela was awake Wednesday and “she is doing okay.” She has had two surgeries and will need a third for her wounds. The girl’s mother is by her daughter’s side.

Shulak said the judge in the April hearing was too concerned with the jurisdictional aspect of the case and she did not pay enough attention to the children’s fears for their safety and the mother’s safety. “When a child speaks we need to listen,” Shulak said.

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