Whereabouts of young girl taken from care of mother ‘still unknown’

Naomi Button from Leeds
Naomi Button from Leeds
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A woman whose daughter was taken from her care by her ex-husband three years ago is preparing for another Christmas without the little girl.

Elsa Salama - now seven - is thought to be in Egypt with members of her Egyptian father’s family. But a High Court judge was today told that her whereabouts still remain unknown.

Elsa’s mother Naomi Button, a leadership consultant from Leeds who is in her 40s, began family court litigation after Tamer Salama, a teacher in his 30s who comes from Southampton, Hampshire, took the little girl in December 2011.

Mr Salama was jailed by a judge, for breaching High Court orders to arrange Elsa’s return to England or to reveal where she was, in January 2012. He was released after a judge ruled in December 2013 that continuing to keep him in prison would not be proportionate or justifiable.

And Mrs Justice Hogg was today told at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London that Elsa’s whereabouts were still not known.

A lawyer representing Ms Button said Elsa was thought to be in Egypt with Mr Salama’s relatives.

Mark Jarman said Ms Button had begun having Skype conversations with Elsa - arranged with the help of Mr Salama. But he said Elsa’s whereabouts unknown.

And the judge was told that Arabic had become Elsa’s predominant language.

He said Skype conversations had taken place with the use of an interpreter or in broken English.

Mrs Justice Hogg said the start of Skype conversations was a “positive” development.

A further hearing is scheduled to take place in the spring of 2015.

The judge analysed the latest developments at a private hearing.