The following press release was distributed to media outlets today. To download a copy of the letter sent by Amsterdam & Partners LLP to the Ottawa police, click here.
On September 28, 2021 the law firm of Amsterdam & Partners LLP issued a letter to Chief Peter Sloly of the Ottawa Police Services alleging that the law enforcement agency had failed in its duties to find and rescue Aleksandra “Sasha” Nicole Volgemut, an almost three-year-old girl, who was abducted by her mother for the third time on September 2, 2021 in direct contravention of court orders awarding temporary sole custody to the father, Taras Volgemut.
Robert Amsterdam, founding partner of Amsterdam & Partners LLP which represents Mr. Volgemut, a citizen of the Russian Federation, writes in the letter to Sloly that the Ottawa Police failed to respond to the court order to place the child in their client’s custody and, following the child’s abduction, which lasted from Sept. 2 to Sept. 17, 2021, refused to execute warrants of arrest and committal issued by the court.
“For 14 days he had no idea where his daughter was or whether she was safe” the letter from Amsterdam reads. “The Ottawa Police failed utterly in their duties to our client, to the Honorable Courts of this province, and most importantly to Sasha.”
According to the letter, it was not until September 17, 2021 that the child was rescued and her abductor was placed under arrest by the Gatineau Police Force. In light of the alleged refusal of the Ottawa Police to track down the abducted child, Mr. Volgemut was forced to seek her location out independently, the letter states.
While Mr. Volgemut holds Russian citizenship, his daughter and her mother are both Canadian. “Given the documented anti-Russian animus of the mother, and the fact that the mother was in communication with the Ottawa police throughout the period of her disappearance, we are concerned that Mr. Volgemut’s Russian heritage may have influenced the Ottawa Police’s response” commented Amsterdam.
“As a Canadian I’m deeply ashamed of how the Ottawa police in this case failed to treat the victims of this crime with the appropriate level of respect and urgency,” commented Amsterdam. “The Ottawa police have a clear duty to enforce court orders and to uphold the law no matter the crime or the victim, and we are demanding answers as to why the victims were not protected in the Volgemut abduction case.”
Amsterdam continued: “We believe that, based on the conduct exhibited by the Ottawa Police in the Volgemut case, the Embassy of the Russian Federation to Canada should consider raising this matter with the Canadian authorities at the highest level, as well as the propriety of issuing a travel warning to citizens of the Russian Federation.”
Amsterdam & Partners LLP is an international law firm based in London and Washington DC. More information can be found on www.amsterdamandpartners.com.