High Court judge wants police to investigate conduct of missing Leeds twelve-year-old girl's dad

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A High Court judge wants police to consider whether an Egyptian former teacher who took his daughter from her British mother more than seven years ago might have breached child abduction and perjury laws.

Tamer Salama took Elsa Salama, then four, from ex-wife Naomi Button in December 2011 while all three were visiting his relatives in Egypt.

Naomi Button holding a picture of Elsa.

Naomi Button holding a picture of Elsa.

Ms Button, a leadership consultant from Leeds, was forced to return to England alone and thinks Elsa, now 12, has been living with Salama's mother in Egypt.

She launched family court litigation in London in a bid to get Elsa back and is continuing that fight.

Salama, who subsequently returned to England without Elsa and is now living in Manchester, was jailed in January 2012 for breaching family court judges' orders to arrange his daughter's return to England or to reveal where she was.

But a High Court judge ordered his release in December 2013 after deciding that continuing to keep him in prison was no longer proportionate or justifiable.

The judge currently overseeing the family court litigation thinks police should now examine Salama's conduct.

Mr Justice Mostyn, who is conducting hearings in the Family Division of the High Court in London, said Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick should see a copy of his latest ruling on Elsa's case so she can consider what steps should be taken.

He said: "It seems to me that while the father cannot be further punished for his contempt in continuing to refuse to reveal the whereabouts of Elsa and to cause her to return to England and Wales it ought to be incumbent on the prosecuting authorities to consider criminal proceedings against him for at least two offences, namely conspiracy to commit (an) offence under section 2 of the Child Abduction Act 1984 and perjury.

"I shall direct that a copy of this judgment is to be sent to the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police for her to consider what steps in this regard should be taken."

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt earlier this year told Mr Justice Mostyn that Egyptian government ministers had been asked to help find Elsa.

He wrote to the judge explaining how an official at the British Embassy in Cairo had discussed Elsa's case with a member of the Egyptian government.

Mr Justice Mostyn, who had asked Mr Hunt for help, was told, at the latest hearing of Elsa's case, that Egyptian authorities had not traced Elsa.

But the judge said he appreciated the efforts Foreign Office and Egyptian officials were making.