Custody battle over Eitan Biran continues as aunt loses guardian status

The ruling will affect her ability to make decisions regarding finances as well as matters regarding Eitan’s future.

 AYA BIRAN, the paternal aunt of Eitan Biran speaks outside the Tel Aviv court yesterday. (photo credit: CORINNA KERN/REUTERS)
AYA BIRAN, the paternal aunt of Eitan Biran speaks outside the Tel Aviv court yesterday.
(photo credit: CORINNA KERN/REUTERS)

The Juvenile Court in Milan decided on Friday to withdraw the guardianship status of Aya Biran-Nirko over her nephew 6-year-old Eitan Biran, whose parents and younger brother were killed in a cable car accident in Italy in May.

The ruling will affect her ability to make decisions regarding finances as well as matters regarding Eitan’s future. An external lawyer will be appointed in her place, though Eitan will remain in Italy in his aunt's care in the meantime.

A custody battle between his paternal family in Italy and maternal family in Israel has been ongoing since the accident. Eitan’s maternal grandfather Shmulik Peleg flew him to Israel in September without seeking permission from his aunt, prompting an investigation by Italian prosecutors of kidnapping.

 Eitan Biran's grandfather arrives at Tel Aviv court for custody hearing, September 23, 2021 (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI) Eitan Biran's grandfather arrives at Tel Aviv court for custody hearing, September 23, 2021 (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI)

N12 reported that the Peleg family welcomes the court’s decision to appoint a lawyer in his aunt’s place. "This is the first bright spot 6 months after the terrible disaster. The family is confident that the Italian legal system will do everything in its power to protect Eitan's interests, as his mother's family did and will continue to do."