Polish ‘Rambo’ rescues kid from foster care

Controversial Polish private investigator Krysztof Rutkowski has further increased his growing notoriety in Norway by again taking dramatic action to help a child escape foster care.

Polish 'Rambo' rescues kid from foster care

In his latest venture, Rutkowski extricated a Russian-born boy in his early teens from a foster home in south-western Norway.

“When it’s the child himself that calls, it tells you it’s a serious case,” Rutkowski told news website

The boy was placed with foster parents in the aftermath of a custody battle between his divorced Russian mother and Norwegian stepfather. The mother and boy appeared to triumph when Russian newspapers reported the boy’s arrival at a Moscow airport.

Rutkowski and the boy agreed the latter would say he was going out to exercise. Then, in a manner not disclosed to either country’s press, he was spirited out of the country.

“I wouldn’t call it kidnapping,” the Russian woman’s Norwegian lawyer Maggi Rødvik told the newspaper.

“This was a distress call.”

It wasn’t the only “get-me-out-of-here” signal Rutkowski has answered in Norway. This summer, Norwegian papers widely reported his daring “rescue” of a nine-year-old Polish girl placed in foster care by the country’s oft-criticized child protection services, Barnevernet.

An actor and former member of Poland's parliament, Rutkowski’s web page reveals a picture of him blazing away at the bad guys with an automatic weapon. Not surprisingly, Russian newspapers have dubbed him “the children’s Rambo”.

Rutkowski’s operations are planned in minute detail and appear to require expert knowledge of northern cross-border escape routes. And he hasn’t left any traces of his activities: police dismissed the report of kidnapping due to “lack of evidence”.

The Russian boy’s mother had reportedly fought a long and bitter battle with the step-father and Norwegian child protection services. In the end, she was contacted by Rutkowski’s “agents”.

He admitted the boy’s flight from Norway was hampered by Polish authorities who had been tipped off by Norwegian police. The boy and his mother had to wait until a Polish judge — amid a diplomatic tug of war reported on in Poland and in Russia — determined the flight was lawful under the Hague Convention on kidnapping.

Rutkowski, meanwhile, continues his campaign to free kids in foster care, especially those in Norway. The 51-year-old has his own TV show in Poland on which his work is re-enacted.

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Iranian diplomat seeks Norway asylum

An Iranian diplomat has applied for political asylum in Norway, his lawyer confirmed on Friday.

"He doesn't want to comment in public on his reasons for doing this," Jørgen Løvdal said.

The man, who wished to remain anonymous, was posted to Norway in 2009 and had been working at the Iranian embassy in Oslo, but defected in December, Løvdal said.

"Unfortunately we do not have any comment on this matter," a spokesman for the Iranian embassy in Oslo said when contacted by AFP.

The man would be the fourth Iranian diplomat to seek protection in a Nordic country in three years.

The ex-consul general of Iran's embassy in Oslo, Mohamed Reza Heydari, was granted asylum by Norway in February 2010 after resigning from his job.

A press attache at the Iranian embassy in Brussels, Farzad Farhangian who also defected to Norway in 2010, said in September that year he intended to join the opposition to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

In the same month, a senior official at Iran's embassy in Helsinki, Hossein Alizadeh, sought asylum in Finland.

Tehran said personal rather than political motives were behind Heydari's and Farhangian's defections, while an Iranian MP accused the three diplomats of having mental problems.