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Foretich Says He’ll Abide By Court Order

March 1, 1990

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) _ The father of Hilary Foretich said Thursday he would abide by a court order not to contact the child he tracked across two continents during a fierce custody dispute.

A court issued the temporary order pending a ruling on whether Dr. Erich Foretich can see his 7-year-old daughter for the first time in two years. A date has not been set for the family court ruling.

Hilary’s mother, Dr. Elizabeth Morgan, went to jail for 25 months rather than reveal the whereabouts of her daughter, whom she said was sexually abused by Foretich.

In Washington Thursday, a court ruled that Morgan can have her passport back so she can go to New Zealand. However, the passport is in the possession of the city’s Court of Appeals and Judge Herbert Dixon of District of Columbia Superior Court said he could not order that court to return the document. A decision by the appeals court was expected later.

Hilary has spent the last two years with her maternal grandparents in New Zealand during Foretich’s search.

Foretich, a 45-year-old dentist from Falls Church, Va., said Thursday he would abide by the temporary family court order not to contact his child.

Asked at Christchurch Airport how he tracked his daughter, Foretich said he did it with ″the help of police departments and private dectives who were able to do these things.″

He said he hoped to see his daughter soon and spent the day consulting with his lawyers.

William Morgan, Foretich’s father-in-law, has vowed to call police if Foretich approaches the child.

″The reason we’re staying in Auckland as opposed to here is to keep some privacy in my daughter’s life,″ Foretich said at the airport. ″That’s most important, paramount to me.″

He also said he was certain the New Zealand judicial system would rule in his favor.

Dixon ordered Morgan to jail for contempt of court in August 1986 for refusing to allow Foretich to visit the girl. Morgan was released three days later by the appeals court, which required her to surrender the deed to her house as bond and turn over her passport.

In February 1987, Dixon sent her to jail again, but she was released three days later after agreeing to allow Foretich’s visits.

In August 1987, Dixon jailed Morgan for a third time. She remained imprisoned until September 1989.

In his order Thursday, Dixon noted Morgan remained in contempt of court.

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