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Australian kidnapped son, Andrew Thompson, found in Amsterdam

After a harrowing two and a half year search, Sydney father Ken Thompson will soon be reunited with his abducted son, Andrew.

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After a harrowing two and a half year search, Sydney father Ken Thompson will soon be reunited with his abducted son, Andrew.
10 September 2010
 
BBC Video Footage
An Australian man who cycled round Europe for three months looking for his missing son is to be reunited with him after two-and-a-half years. Ken Thompson quit his job as a firefighter in Sydney in May to devote his time to searching for six-year-old Andrew, who was allegedly abducted by his mother in 2008. Ben Geoghegan reports.

Also see Australian Ken Thompson cycles Europe in desperate search for his son.

Note mention of mother getting gender discounted "Get of out jail free" card. It is unlikely this would be considered if the genders were reversed.

Melinda Stratton may escape jail for kidnapping Andrew Thompson

Sunday Herald Sun
12 September 2010

Kidnap mother may escape jail in new deal
By Paola Totaro, Amsterdam

The mother of abducted boy Andrew Thompson  under arrest in Amsterdam and facing a prison term in Australia  could be offered a "get out of jail free" card, under a new system to resolve international custody battles.

A new form of cross-border mediation, tested in the Netherlands, will provide Melinda Stratton with a last-ditch chance to avoid criminal charges  and help parent her little boy  if she can co-operate and come to a binding, workable agreement is accepted by his father, Ken Thompson.

This system, thrashed out over two days under intense specialist mediation with a team of counsellors and lawyers, must be agreed to by both parents  and becomes a legally binding order in both the Netherlands and Australia.

Mr Thompson, met a team of psychologists in Amsterdam yesterday and drove to The Hague to meet the legal expert on the Hague conventions who is to manage the complex legal processes needed to return the six-year-old to his father.

It is now likely that he will need to remain in the Netherlands for at least three months as custodial orders from Australia are translated into Dutch and given effect in the local courts. These will allow the legal handover of Andrew while extradition proceedings against his mother unfold. Ms Stratton faces criminal charges and up to 13 years in prison in Australia if she refuses to participate in cross-border mediation system.

This could even result in the boy remaining in the Netherlands with his father as the legal processes unfold there while his mother is extradited to Australia to face charges.

Mr Thompson said yesterday he understood an agreement could be enforced very quickly  perhaps within a fortnight  if there was co-operation between the two parents to come to a resolution in the interests of the child.

He has yet to see his child but insists that he bears no malice towards his wife and, while deeply anguished by the events of the past 2 years, simply wants to "be a dad to Andrew, to be in his life to love him and to give him back the human rights that were taken away from him".

Mr Thompson, visibly relieved after his day with lawyers and psychologists, said he believed Andrew's was the first case worldwide in which the internet had been used successfully to track down an abducted child.

"We did it on a shoestring and so many fantastic people have helped me. I lived on less than 50 euro a day for the past four months  and I found my son.

"OK, my legal fees are horrendous … overdraft on overdraft on overdraft, and I don't even want to think about my mobile telephone bill. But I could not give up. Ever. A young guy with the fire services built the FindAndrew website for me  and he had never done this before. I had the most amazing people helping me if I was in trouble with electronic banking or a lost card. I had emails, thousands of them, in support. I've got people around the world who saw my plight and felt something. I can't thank them all enough.

"I hope, I really hope that my wife will co-operate and that we can find a way for Andrew. I will stay here for as long as it takes and until Andrew is ready to move on. I have an EU passport and no visa issues … It will take time to reintroduce the relationship. It has to be carefully managed."

It is understood that the little boy now both speaks Dutch and has lived under a different surname.

Psychologists have made clear that the reintroduction must be slow and carefully supervised as it is not known what the little boy has been told during the years of avoiding authorities.

Mr Thompson, a former NSW deputy fire chief, cycled 6500 kilometres across Europe to raise awareness of international child abductions and to distribute bumper stickers with Andrew's face and promote his website to try and find his boy.

An alert Dutch woman checked her suspicions about the little boy and his mother on the internet and Googled "missing children" and "Australia" and discovering he had been kidnapped. It was her decision to contact Dutch police that traced him and led to the arrest of his mother.


Andrew Thompson is found in Amsterdam: After almost three years, missing son finally surfaces

The Sydney Morning Herald
9 September 2010

After almost three years, missing son finally surfaces
By Eamonn Duff (with AAP)

Almost three years after his son went missing, former NSW deputy fire chief Ken Thompson has learned the six-year-old boy is in Amsterdam.

Andrew Thompson was three years old when he was abducted in Sydney by his mother, Melinda Stratton, on April 24, 2008, after a custody battle.

Ms Stratton eluded the Australian Federal Police, Interpol and missing children's organisations until she was picked up on Monday after attempting to enrol Andrew in school.

Noticing the six-year-old's passport had expired, the school's principal ran a security check and discovered the boy was the subject of more than 180 Interpol alerts.

Mr Thompson quit his job in May to cycle across Europe on a public crusade to find his son.

"I didn't know where in Europe he might be," Mr Thompson told Macquarie Radio from Amsterdam on Thursday morning, having just arrived in the city.

''I just knew Europe was the most likely place, so I decided I would do whatever I could do to raise public awareness to Andrew, and to some other kids who are missing in Europe as well, by riding a bicycle and just trying to generate as much media interest as I could in Andrew.''

A family friend, Robin Bowles, said police had contacted Mr Thompson advising him that his son was safe with welfare officials and his former wife was in custody. Arrangements for her extradition were due to be raised in a court appearance yesterday.

"Ken's ecstatic, emotional, relieved, overjoyed and still in a total state of shock," Ms Bowles said. "It is no secret there were fears for both Melinda's and Andrew's safety and the longer time went on, the fear grew deeper within Ken that maybe he'd never see his son again. He wants to see him. He can't wait a moment longer."

Ms Stratton fled Australia four months after she and Mr Thompson failed to reach a custody settlement. She flew with Andrew to Germany, then vanished. In a letter to her family, she claimed she was forced to flee after losing faith in the Family Court over its handling of serious allegations she levelled against her former husband.

But in December 2008 Mr Stratton successfully lobbied the Family Court to lift a ban on identifying Andrew and his plight.

In granting the order, the court allowed Mr Thompson to release a psychiatric report  compiled before his former wife's disappearance  revealing she had a paranoia disorder that severely impaired her ability as a parent.

Mr Thompson said: "He is safe. We'll hopefully now get him back to Australia and then Melinda and I can resume the process that needs to be resumed, that was started in 2008."


Son found after three years

ABC Radio AM
Published: Thursday, September 9, 2010 8:09 AEST
Expires: Wednesday, December 8, 2010 8:09 AEST

Son found after three years

Ken Thompson's son Andrew was taken from Australia by his mother three years ago during a custody dispute. In an attempt to raise publicity over the case, Ken Thomspon rode his bike across Europe asking for public help to find his son. Now, it appears he's finally tracked him down.

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Andrew Thompson: Kidnap boy may not return from Amsterdam, says dad / Reunion today for bike quest dad

Further reports about the Andrew Thompson abduction.
Ms Stratton began showing the first signs of mental illness in 2006 according to Mr Thompson. The symptoms were subtle at first, but they progressed, manifesting themselves in paranoia and false beliefs about various people, including Mr Thompson. "I didn't realise it at the time, but it started slowly and just escalated, it was terrible," Mr Thompson said previously. By December 2007, his wife had been diagnosed by one of Australia's leading psychiatrists as having a paranoia disorder, and left their family home on January 1. She fled the country with three-year-old Andrew after fearing she would lose access to him over the psychatrist's report.
An international arrest warrant was issued for his wife, who had come to believe her husband was abusing Andrew and then fled after a psychological report raised doubts about her mental health.
Ms Stratton fled Sydney in 2008 after making a series of allegations about Mr Thompson to NSW Police and to her GP. Mr Thompson strenuously denies the allegations. A Family Court-appointed psychologist found in his favour and police say he has no case to answer.
Watch tonight's 7.30 Report (Monday 13th Sept 2010) for more on this story (see box below):

Father cycles across Europe to find son
Australian Ken Thompson's cycle across Europe in search of his six year old son has come to an end with the father about to be reunited with the young boy who was abducted by his mother during a custody battle. Contains: video, image, transcript.

Reunion today for bike quest dad

ABC News
13 September 2010

Reunion today for bike quest dad
By Emma Alberici and staff

A Sydney man who embarked on a bicycle quest around Europe to find his son is hoping to be reunited with the boy today, nearly three years after his mother fled with him to the Netherlands.

But Ken Thompson has been told it could be months before he will be able to bring the boy back home to Australia.

In 2008 Mr Thompson's estranged wife left Australia with their son Andrew before a court had determined custody arrangements.

Dutch authorities have told the ABC that extradition proceedings are underway to have Melinda Stratton returned to face contempt of court charges.

She is also required to bring her son home under The Hague Convention on International Child Abduction, of which Australia is a signatory.

Andrew was three years old when his mother took him from Australia, and is now six.

Mr Thompson's desire to find him was so strong he quit his job as a deputy fire chief, mounted a bicycle, and rode 6,500 kilometres through Europe to find him.

It is understood Andrew came to the notice of authorities when he was enrolled for school in Amsterdam.

But his mother always maintained she was protecting her son from sexual abuse at the hands of his father.

"She'd made these allegations to the police. She'd made these allegations to DOCS. They'd investigated and they'd said, 'You know, there is nothing here. There is nothing to support your allegations'," Mr Thompson said.

Explaining why his wife would go to such lengths to protect her child from a father who was not a threat, Mr Thompson said: "All I know is that the psychiatric report said that there was an underlying mental state that was causing her to form these beliefs".

He says Andrew had made comments to his mother about when he would put him to bed at night.

"Melinda would sit beside Andrew whereas I would lie beside Andrew because I wanted him to go to sleep and I thought if he is lying down [there is] more chance of him going to sleep. And the reality of the matter was most of the times I fell asleep as well," he said.

"She just became concerned about the way he expressed that. He said I want you to lie like daddy does and when she asked how that was, he put his hands around his groin area, clasped his hands.

"Apparently that is what triggered this process of forming this belief that something inappropriate was happening."

Mr Thompson says he is excited ahead of today's reunion.

"I've been searching the world for him for two-and-a-half years," he said.

"So the process now is to give him time to come to accept that his father is here and that his father wants to see him."

Mr Thompson says he wants to devote the rest of his life to helping other parents find their abducted children.

- Watch tonight's 7.30 Report for more on this story.

Audio: Australian father Ken Thompson has discovered his son Andrew is alive and well (Local Radio)

Audio: Son found after three years (AM)

Related Story: Father finds abducted son after bike quest through Europe


Kidnap boy may not return from Amsterdam, says dad

The Australian
13 September 2010

Kidnap boy may not return from Amsterdam, says dad
By Peter Wilson

Amsterdam: Ken Thompson's joy at the news his missing son has been found in Amsterdam has been tempered by a lingering fear.

International laws on child abduction could make it difficult to get six-year-old Andrew back to Australia.

Mr Thompson, a former NSW deputy fire commissioner, said in Amsterdam yesterday "my experience so far with these laws has taught me that you cannot take anything for granted".

Mr Thompson is particularly concerned that his estranged wife, Melinda Stratton, may be able to argue that Andrew is now settled in The Netherlands and should not be returned to Australia.

Ms Stratton, 48, fled Australia with Andrew in April 2008 by flying to Frankfurt while Family Court proceedings about the boy's custody were under way.

After quitting his job to concentrate on his search, the former firefighter spent the past four months cycling across Europe to try to generate publicity about his missing son.

An international arrest warrant was issued for his wife, who had come to believe her husband was abusing Andrew and then fled after a psychological report raised doubts about her mental health.

She was taken into custody by Dutch police last week after somebody linked to the school Andrew was attending in Amsterdam became suspicious and found internet information on the case.

"I still have no idea where Melinda took Andrew after landing in Germany and how much of that time they have spent in Amsterdam," Mr Thompson told The Australian.

"The Hague Convention on abducted children can stop a child being returned to his or her home country under certain circumstances, and one of those circumstances is if the child has become settled in the new country and would find it tough to go home.

"There have been cases in Australia where children have been wrongly taken out of the country by one parent and by the time they have been found they have been speaking a new language and even forgotten how to speak English."

Andrew is now in foster care in The Netherlands while Australian authorities begin extradition proceedings against his mother, which could take many months.

"I am hoping that Melinda co-operates and doesn't try to keep him here, but what I have learned about these laws is that you can't assume the most sensible outcome is going to happen."


Dad searching for lost boy passed near his school

The Australian
10 September 2010

Dad searching for lost boy passed near his school
By Caroline Overington

A little over two months ago, former NSW deputy fire chief Ken Thompson passed through the city of Amsterdam.

He carried an old toy fireman puppet known as Bernie Cinders strapped to the back of his bicycle. It used to be his son Andrew's favourite toy.

Mr Thompson didn't know it, but he had passed within 2km of the school Andrew was attending.

"When I think about that now, how close we were, it gives me shivers," Mr Thompson told The Australian from Amsterdam yesterday. "And now I'm back here, sitting here in the same city as my son. I can hardly believe it."

Andrew Thompson, 6, was taken from Australia by his mother, Melinda Stratton, during a custody dispute in 2008. She flew from Sydney to Singapore, where she changed planes for Frankfurt. After that, she disappeared.

Andrew was missing for 2 1/2 years until this week. His father is hopeful of making contact as soon as today.

Early reports suggest Andrew has been enrolled in a progressive Amsterdam school since June, and he has been in Amsterdam for about a year. Melinda has been calling herself Lisa. Andrew was still Andrew, but had been given a different surname.

Mr Thompson said the pair had been uncovered when Ms Stratton said something to another parent at the school "that made her think, maybe somebody is looking for this child".

The parent entered the words "missing", "child" and "Australia" into Google and found links to Mr Thompson's site, FindAndrew.com, plus hundreds of news stories about his search for his son.

They included his decision, four months ago, to retire from the NSW Fire Brigade and ride around Europe on a bicycle, with a picture of Andrew on his T-shirt.

Dutch police contacted the Australian embassy, which made contact with Mr Thompson three days ago in Stuttgart, Germany.

Ms Stratton has been taken into custody pending a hearing and Andrew is in foster care.

It is not clear whether the boy speaks English or Dutch, or whether he knows his father is alive and has been looking for him.

Less certain still is what happens now. Ms Stratton could fight Mr Thompson's efforts to have Andrew returned to Australia under the Hague Convention, an international treaty that deals with child removal.

"The main thing is he's alive, he's safe and he's well," Mr Thompson said. "I couldn't be more relieved."

Ms Stratton was believed to be in custody pending a hearing before three judges. She may be released into the community, even to live with Andrew, while the legal process begins.

Mr Thompson expressed regret at how things had worked out, saying: "I never wanted it to be like this. I did everything I possibly could to ensure that this would not happen and that Melinda would not end up in custody.

"I pleaded with her, I begged her, over the internet and in media, to come forward and work things out with me. She did not listen."

He was desperately concerned for Andrew.

Mr Thompson said earlier media reports that somebody at his son's school had noticed discrepancies in Andrew's passport were incorrect.

Ms Stratton fled Sydney in 2008 after making a series of allegations about Mr Thompson to NSW Police and to her GP.

Mr Thompson strenuously denies the allegations. A Family Court-appointed psychologist found in his favour and police say he has no case to answer.

After Ms Stratton disappeared, Mr Thompson got a Family Court order enabling him to publicise the case. He has told the Australian Federal Police he wants to see his ex-wife "and help her in any way I can", he told The Australian.

"I do not want her to go to jail. I do not want to stop her from seeing Andrew. I have always said that Andrew needs a relationship with both his parents.

"It's now up to Melinda. I've never, ever said that I would take Andrew away from her.

"Maybe a judge will say, OK lady, you need to work yourself out, and Andrew can be with his father until you get yourself straight, and I will do that, but I have always believed that we can work things out together."

Mr Thompson said he was prepared to stay in Amsterdam "for as long as it takes" to secure a connection with his son. "I don't know what he has been told. I don't know what he thinks," he said. "If I have to see him for an hour a day, just so he can get comfortable with me, I'll do that.

"I don't want to rush him. I know it's going to be traumatic. It's going to be baby steps and more baby steps, and that's the way I know it has to be."

Child protection advocate Freda Briggs, contacted by Ms Stratton while she was on the run, expressed fears for Andrew's psychological wellbeing, saying it could be years before the legal battle was resolved.

"The chances are that Andrew will be accompanied back here by strangers and will be placed in foster care until the Family Court judge decides his fate," she said.


Missing Australian boy Andrew Thompson found after three years

Herald Sun (Melbourne)
9 September 2010

Missing Australian boy Andrew Thompson found after three years
By staff

An Australian boy who went missing almost three years ago has been found in Northern Europe, bringing an end to his father's desperate search.

Andrew Thompson was abducted in 2008 by his mother Melinda Stratton after she was diagnosed with a mental disorder.

Despite a worldwide search, Ms Stratton eluded authorities until Monday when she tried to enrol Andrew in a school in Amsterdam, reported the Sydney Morning Herald.

Authorities were alerted after a school principal ran a security check when he noticed Andrew's passport was expired and discovered Andrew had featured in more than 180 Interpol alerts.

Andrew's father Ken Thompson, a former deputy commissioner of the New South Wales Fire Brigades, was last night on his way to meet his son.

A family Friend, Robin Bowles, told the Sydney Morning Herald, "Ken's ecstatic, emotional, relieved, overjoyed and still in a total state of shock," Ms Bowles said.

"It is no secret there were fears for both Melinda's and Andrew's safety and the longer time went on, the fear grew deeper within Ken that maybe he'd never see his son again. He wants to see him. He can't wait a moment longer."

Mr Thomson has spent every day of the last three and a half months cycling through Europe, looking for his son in a heroic search effort.

He has cycled through over half a dozen countries in his desperate mission to find his missing son.

Three-year nightmare over

It's been almost three years after his ordeal began when his son and wife went missing on April 24, 2008.

Ms Stratton began showing the first signs of mental illness in 2006 according to Mr Thompson.

The symptoms were subtle at first, but they progressed, manifesting themselves in paranoia and false beliefs about various people, including Mr Thompson.

"I didn't realise it at the time, but it started slowly and just escalated, it was terrible," Mr Thompson said previously.

By December 2007, his wife had been diagnosed by one of Australia's leading psychiatrists as having a paranoia disorder, and left their family home on January 1.

She fled the country with three-year-old Andrew after fearing she would lose access to him over the psychatrist's report.

The Australian Federal Police issued a warrant for her arrest and together with Interpol managed to trace her to Frankfurt, but there the trail quickly ran cold.

Mr Thompson took early retirement and began to plot a way to find his son.

At that point the Family Court of Australia had granted an order lifting a ban on Andrew's name being published, to aid the search.

Mr Thompson got himself fit, organised a bike, set up a website, got a cycling shirt printed with Andrew's face on it and set off for Europe.

- With AAP


7:30 Report: Father cycles across Europe to find son

Australian Ken Thompson's cycle across Europe in search of his six year old son has come to an end with the father about to be reunited with the young boy who was abducted by his mother during a custody battle.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)

The 7:30PM Report
13 September 2010

Father cycles across Europe to find son
Reporter: Emma Alberici

Transcript

KERRY O'BRIEN, PRESENTER: Here is the story making a big splash here and abroad. Australian Ken Thompson has cycled more than 6,000 kilometres across Europe desperately searching for his young son, who was abducted by his mother during a bitter custody battle. That emotional journey has now come to an end in Amsterdam. Extradition proceedings have begun in the Netherlands to return Melinda Stratton to Australia to face charges of contempt of court. Meanwhile, Ken Thompson is waiting to be reunited with his six-year-old son Andrew. Europe correspondent Emma Alberici reports from Amsterdam.

KEN THOMPSON: Well I'd spend about sort of six to eight hours a day on the bike doing about 100 kilometres a day, so I had plenty of time by myself to think about things. My thoughts were always focused on Andrew.

EMMA ALBERICI, REPORTER: Ken Thompson hadn't seen his son in two years when he decided to get on his bike and go looking for him.

KEN THOMPSON: I was in this kinda state where I was - I was cycling along, but it didn't really feel as though I was moving forward, it felt as though the road was moving underneath me. And I thought, "Oh, this is easy. I can do this forever."

EMMA ALBERICI: After four years of marriage, Ken Thompson and Melinda Stratton's relationship broke down and a custody battle was raging in the Family Court. Panicking that the judge might rule against her, Melinda Stratton fled overseas claiming that her husband had been sexually abusing their son.

KEN THOMPSON: She formed a belief that, you know, I was … um … seriously abusing Andrew. But to put that into context, she was also forming beliefs that other people were harming Andrew or were a threat to Andrew in some way.

EMMA ALBERICI: What was it that you used to do that concerned her?

KEN THOMPSON: Um, when I would work through this what-we-did-today story, Melinda would sit beside Andrew, whereas I would lie beside Andrew, because I just - I wanted him to go to sleep, and I thought, you know, if he's lying down, more chance of him going to sleep. And the reality of the matter was most of the times I fell asleep as well. You know, and Melinda would come in and wake me up a couple of hours later. And she just became concerned about the way he expressed that, you know, he said, "I want you to lie like daddy does." And when she asked how that was, you know, he put his hands kind of around his kinda groin area, he clasped his hands, and apparently that's what kinda triggered this process of forming this belief that something inappropriate was happening.

EMMA ALBERICI: Why would a mother go to such extraordinary lengths if she didn't really believe that her son was in danger?

KEN THOMPSON: I think you need to ask somebody who is much more qualified than me.

EMMA ALBERICI: Passport checks placed the three-year-old in Germany, but Europe's open borders meant that from there he could've been moved to any one of 27 countries.

Ken Thompson has cycled across nine countries trying to raise his son's profile. He quit his job as deputy fire commissioner in New South Wales to trawl Europe, living in a tent with little more than Cinders, his son's favourite toy, as company.

Did you ever worry that something shocking might've happened to him?

KEN THOMPSON: Yeah, every day. Every single day.

EMMA ALBERICI: All the time he was hoping that someone, somewhere would recognise the gap-toothed little boy on his shirt and get in touch. After four months and 6,500 kilometres it paid off, an anonymous email on Father's Day said that Andrew was safe and well in Amsterdam, a city that contains more bicycles than people.

KEN THOMPSON: It took me three days to accept that he'd been found. I just - I wasn't prepared to get my hopes up. I'd had my hopes up several times before. We had a lead here and we had a lead there, and we followed those leads, and every single time, you know, nothing came of it.

EMMA ALBERICI: Ken Thompson has become a public figure in Amsterdam; his story, a beacon for parents everywhere.

The Dutch Prosecution Service is now taking steps to extradite Melinda Stratton to face charges in Australia for contempt of the Family Court.

OTTO VAN DER BIJL, DUTCH PROSECUTOR: We got some information off somebody who told us that they might know where she lives, here in Amsterdam. And we checked the information and it turned out actually that we - it was her. So she was arrested and the child was with her. In this case we don't see any - at this point, we don't see any major obstacles to the extradition.

KEN THOMPSON: I actually came here. I came here. I was in this city in June. And I - at the time when I first came here, I thought, "You know what, this is the kind of city I wouldn't be surprised to find Melinda in."

EMMA ALBERICI: For now, Andrew is being cared for by Amsterdam's child protection office. He won't be reunited with his father until psychologists believe he's ready.

So how does it feel knowing that Andrew is in this city, but you can't get to him just yet?

KEN THOMPSON: It's frustrating, but I also appreciate the fact that Andrew needs time to learn that I'm here. He needs time to come to accept that his father could be coming back into his life. And he needs time to readjust himself to that. That would be not the right thing to do, to just suddenly rush in and say, "Hey, I'm here."

EMMA ALBERICI: Melinda Stratton can be held in custody in The Netherlands for up to 45 days without charge. The legal process is expected to take at least three months. So it's unlikely that Andrew Thompson will be home in Australia for Christmas.

Do you want your wife to go to jail?

KEN THOMPSON: I've never wanted her to go to jail. You know, I've done everything I can to prevent this getting to where it is now.

EMMA ALBERICI: So what now for you would be the best case scenario?

KEN THOMPSON: You know, throughout this whole ordeal I have never said, "I hate my wife." What I've said is, you know, the woman I married and had a child with has done something wrong. There seems to be a reason for that and I'll do whatever I can to help her get over that. I'm happy to work with her. Whether we can get back together, God, I don't know. I really don't know. I would like to think …

EMMA ALBERICI: Do you want to?

KEN THOMPSON: Yeah, in a way, I do, because we had a really good relationship. We had a wonderful relationship. I'd like to be able to get that back.

EMMA ALBERICI: In the meantime, Ken Thompson is waiting for word that his son wants to see him. When he gets back to Australia, he's going to start a new career advising other parents around the world who've had their children abducted. There are few of them who've had the kind of luck he has.

KERRY O'BRIEN: And we're now told that the reunion between father and son could take place within the next few hours. Emma Alberici reporting from Amsterdam.

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