Italian family refuses to release orphan

GENOA, Italy, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- An Italian family refused Wednesday to release a 10-year-old girl who the family says was sexually abused at her orphanage in Belarus, an official said.

"Talks between the deputy justice minister of Italy and the family's lawyers, which were attended by the Liguria (regional) governor and a Genoa court's representative for underage children, produced no results," Alexei Skripko, Belarusian ambassador to Italy, told Interfax.

"The family's position remains uncompromising," he said. "They will take a decision that will allow the girl to stay in Italy for at least one year for medical treatment."

He said the Italian family says its presence is crucial to the girl's psychological rehabilitation.

The Italian government will seek to resolve the matter in accordance with Italian and international laws and agreements with Belarus, Skripko said.

The Belarusian Foreign Ministry forwarded a letter to the Italian Foreign Ministry Wednesday describing the situation as the "deliberate abduction of a child."