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  1. National

Roma leader: Children have not been bought and sold

The leader of the local Roma community where four-year-old blonde girl, known as Maria, was found said children are have not been bought and sold in his town.

The leader of the local Roma community Babis Dimitriou. Credit: APTN

Community president Babis Dimitriou said: "No such thing has happened in our community.

"Is the woman who found the child at fault? She should have gone to the police [and say] 'the Bulgarian abandoned the child with me and got up and left.'"


Kerry Needham urges police to look for Maria case links

The mother of Ben Needham, speaking exclusively to Calendar, said she wants the Greek authorities to investigate the case of Maria, a four-year-old girl recovered from a Roma camp, to see if there are any connections to the disappearance of her son 22 years ago.

Ms Needham and her family believe Ben was abducted, possibly by people from the Roma community, from Kos in July 1991.

Ben's mother was told the Greek authorities never believed a blonde European child could be harboured in a Roma camp without anyone knowing, but the discovery of Maria disproves that theory, according to Ms Needham.

She spoke to us via Skype while on holiday abroad.

  1. National

Thousands respond to mystery girl appeal

The little girl, known as Maria, was recovered from a Roma camp in Greece. Credit: REUTERS/Greek Police/Handout

More than 5,000 calls have been made to a Greek charity after an international appeal was made in a bid to discover the identity of a four-year-old girl, known as Maria, who was recovered from a Roma camp in Greece.

The welfare charity Smile of the Child, who is caring for the little girl at one of its homes, has received thousands of calls since Friday.

Ben Needham: police say no new investigation after girl found in Greece

South Yorkshire Police say there is no "direct correlation" between Ben Needham's disappearance and a girl found in Greece.

The girl is suspected to have been abducted after the couple claiming to be her parents turned out not to be related after a DNA test.

She was discovered in a Roma gypsy camp, where there had been a reported sighting of Ben who disappeared from a Greek island 21 years ago.

"South Yorkshire Police is aware of the case currently being investigated by Greek police after a young girl was found at a Roma settlement in the country.

"At this stage there appears to be no direct correlation between this and the disappearance of Ben Needham, who was 21 months old when he went missing on the island of Kos in 1991.

"The case of Ben Needham continues to be investigated by the Greek authorities and South Yorkshire Police continues to support his family.

"No investigation is currently being carried out by the force in light of this recent case and officers from South Yorkshire Police will only become involved should authorities in Greece require our assistance."

– South Yorkshire Police spokesman

Watch: exclusive interview with Kerry Needham urging Greek police to look for Maria case links


Full report: Family call for gipsy 'abduct' couple to be questioned over missing Ben Needham

The family of Ben Needham, who went missing on a Greek Island 22 years ago, say they want a gipsy couple now suspected of abducting a young girl to be questioned over the disappearance of Ben.

The girl was found in a town where Ben's family were once told he was being held by local gipsies. Lisa Walton reports.

"Abducted" girl found in Greece gives Needham family new hope

Greek police who raided the camp of a Roma Gypsy community have discovered a four-year-old girl they fear may have been trafficked or abducted by the family she was found with.

The girl, going by the name of 'Maria', looked nothing like the couple she was living with, officials said.

"Maria", who is now being looked after by the charity A Child's Smile

DNA tests have since proved she was not their biological child.

Now, the family of Ben Needham, who went missing on the Greek island of Kos in 1991, says the discovery has given them new hope.

The gypsy camp, in Larissa, central Greece, was investigated by police. A prisoner in the town told police Ben was being held there.

Speaking exclusively to Calendar, his mother Kerry said today: "My family and I are extremely delighted by the news of the 4-year-old girl who has been found in a gypsy Camp in Larissa.

"We have always believed that Ben's abduction was gypsy-related, and have had a long ongoing inquiry in Larrisa. We hope that the investigation into Ben's disappearance will now be looked at again in Larrisa with the British and Greek police."

  1. National

Greece mystery girl 'shocked and confused'

A four-year-old girl found living on a Roma settlement with a family who was not related to her has been taken to a hospital for a medical check and will then be transferred to a home of the child welfare charity organisation Smile of the Child.

The president of the organisation, Costas Yannopoulos, said the girl was in a state of shock and confusion.

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