Jewish Telegraph Front Page 6th May 2022

Custody case mother seeks a criminal investigation

A CRIMINAL complaint was filed yesterday against individuals involved in the ongoing custody case of Manchester mother Beth Alexander.

Acting as her power of attorney, the former Chief Rabbi of Vienna, Moshe Friedman, is seeking to have the custody case investigated on more than 40 counts by the Office for the Prosecution of White Collar Crime and Corruption in Vienna.

In July, 2011, twins Samuel and Benjamin, now 12, were inexplicably removed from their mothers care following a court order, although at that time she was still allowed limited contact. Ms Alexander was, however, barred last year from seeing or communicating with the twins, following flawed evidence about her, and the claim that the boys wanted no contact with her was accepted by the judge. Following the no contact ruing, Rabbi Friedman spoke to the court-appointed children’s guardian, Stefan Pack.

Rabbi Friedman insists that due process was not followed, with only a short email provided to the court stating that the children wanted no contact with their mother, without any professional assessment as to why this might be the case. Mr Pack allegedly told Rabbi Friedman on the phone that the judge at the centre of the investigation had called him privately and instructed him not to investigate as she wanted to “put an end to the case”.

Other allegations are that the judge dismissed the latest custody application without calling a hearing or appointing an independent psychologist to assess either the children or the other parties involved.

In the ruling she wrote that she had ‘struck a deal with the children that she would inform them of any applications made by the mother and if they did not want to come to court she would accept their decision.

The involvement of a Jewish high court judge with no legal standing in the case is a further basis of the complaint.

Ms Alexander is divorced from her Austrian husband Dr Michael Schlesinger whom she married in 2006.

Dr Schlesinger has also been reported for allegedly forging his ex-wife’s signature. All evidence of the fathers alleged violence was suppressed by the judge. And there are allegations of money laundering against his former brother-in-law.

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