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Czech woman pretending to be 13-year-old boy detained in Norway, Czech Republic
Jan. 10, 2008 • Thursday January 10, 2008

Prague/Brno- Czech woman Barbora Skrlova, 33, a key witness in a recent child abuse case, was on Saturday detained in Norway, where she lived under false identity, and she was escorted to the Czech Republic today, the Norwegian police’s lawyer Sven T. Roer told.

Skrlova, accompanied by Norwegian policemen, should arrive in the Czech Republic tonight, he added.

Skrlova lived as a 13-year-old boy Adam in Norway where she arrived last summer, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zuzana Opletalova said.

Opletalova said Skrlova was detained during the police search for the allegedly maltreated Czech boy Adam. In the end, the police uncovered that the alleged Adam was actually Skrlova who changed her identity in Norway.

Earlier this year Skrlova passed herself off as a schoolgirl Anna in the Czech Republic in a rather unclear case.

With the help of other people, Skrlova managed to receive this false identity and lived as a 12-year-old girl in a family where “her step-mother” maltreated her own two sons. Skrlova’s new identity was allegedly part of the plans of a religious sect.

The case attracted media attention this spring when the maltreatment of a seven-year-old boy Ondrej was revealed. After the mother was arrested, the children, including Skrlova, were placed in a children’s centre from where Skrlova escaped and fled to Denmark with her relative where she was later identified.

Since last summer she has lived in Norway under false identity.

Roer said today that four Czech citizens were entangled in the false identity case – two men and two women, including Skrlova. They all have been sent to the Czech Republic.

As soon as Skrlova arrives in the Czech Republic, she will be escorted to Brno where judge Tomas Kurfirt will decide on her remanding in custody within 48 hours.

There is a substantiated suspicion that she might escape again, said Kurfirt who issued a warrant for Skrlova’s arrest on Tuesday.

Skrlova arrived in Norway last summer along with a five-member Czech family. Part of the family then returned to the Czech Republic. Skrlova then started to play the role of an underage boy with the aid of the Czech man who pretended to be “Adam’s father,” Opletalova said.

Skrlova even attended school in Oslo as Adam. However, before Christmas she disappeared.

In mid-December, 2006, the Czech emergency line, helping children in need, contacted the Czech ministry, saying that a Czech boy from an unknown children’s home in Norway turned to them as he was allegedly maltreated and sexually abused by his father.

The boy escaped from the home on December 16 and the police launched a search for him. Skrlova appeared, still as a 13-year-old boy, in Tromso, north Norway, where the police detained her. Finding out that the boy was actually an adult woman, the police took her into custody on suspicion of fraud, along with “Adam’s alleged father.”

The Czech police have been searching for Skrlova since last May in connection with the case of boys’ maltreatment by their mother, Klara Mauerova.

Skrlova faces up to two years in prison for possible harming other persons’ rights by passing off as an underage girl in the Czech Republic, said state attorney Vladimir Kutnohorsky.

The press reported that a sect headed by her father, Josef Skrla, stood behind the whole case.

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