Kidnapped son surfaces in Egypt with his father

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A FATHER WHO kidnapped his 12-year-old son from the care of his mother in France broke cover in Egypt yesterday as court officials prepared to sequestrate his business assets.

Peter Malkin, 54, a businessman, is on the run after snatching his son, Oliver, for the third time as the boy stepped off a bus last month in Landevant in Brittany. He could face jail in Britain for contempt of court. Yesterday he contacted journalists from his hiding place in Egypt to put his side of the story.

He also offered reporters the opportunity to talk directly to Oliver, who, in contradiction to previous statements, said he wanted to live with his father.

Peter Harris, the official solicitor for Oliver, whose independent inquiries led him to conclude that the boy wanted to be with his mother, Elisa Pridmore, 36, said he was concerned that Oliver has been subject to great emotional pressure since the kidnap.

Mr Harris said: 'I very much regret that Mr Malkin has invited reporters to talk to Oliver in circumstances which can only add to the confusion and psychological harm which, in my view, Oliver has already suffered.'

Mr Harris is taking legal steps to force Mr Malkin to return Oliver to his mother, who is suffering from breast cancer.

On Friday Mr Harris obtained a High Court order which will mean a sequestrator being called in to take control of Mr Malkin's assets, including Bridge Place Country Club at Bridge, near Canterbury, and Churston Court Hotel, Churston, Brixham, Devon.

Mr Malkin contacted the Independent from the Arabia Beach Hotel at Hurghada in Egypt. He said that after snatching Oliver on 8 November with the help of accomplices he has refused to name, he had driven north across the Belgian border to Bruges, where they stayed for two nights. They spent another three days driving through the Netherlands and Germany, before arriving in Prague, where they boarded a flight for Cairo. Two days later they arrived in Hurghada.

Mr Malkin said Oliver had previously stated that he wanted to be with his mother only because he had been coerced. 'Oliver loves his dad and his dad loves him.' He said his son did not want to live in France and found school difficult. Mr Malkin said he wanted the whole matter 'sorted out' and would return to Britain 'probably before Christmas'.

He then put Oliver on the line. The boy said: 'I want to live in Bridge with my father.'

In a statement responding to Mr Malkin, Mrs Pridmore and her husband, Andrew, said: 'This is a complete contradiction to what Oliver has been saying to friends, family and his own solicitor for the last seven months (since a previous kidnap).

'We feel very sorry for Oliver as he is obviously under an enormous amount of pressure to say what his father wants him to say. Oliver is in a country where he knows no one but his father.'