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Neighbours star returns to Australia after Malaysian custody battle

Former Neighbours actress Eliza Szonert is heading back to Australia after a bitter custody battle with her estranged partner in Malaysia. 


The actress, better known as troublemaker Danni Stark in the Erinsborough-based soap, allegedly snatched her son from businessman Ashley Crick in a Kuala Lumpur restaurant on 10 December. She was detained by police last week when she refused to disclose the child’s location. 


She can now leave with her son and without charge after adhering to police requests to take him to a doctor.


"She can leave Malaysia for home with her son. We have investigated the case and the deputy public prosecutor has decided that there will be no prosecution against her," Kuala Lumpur police chief Tajuddin Mohamad Isa said.


Szonert was helped by two men from Child Recovery Australia, who accompanied her to the restaurant where the child was taken and spoke to Mr Crick. The controversial group said on its Facebook page that her return signalled "another successful recovery".


According to Szonert, Crick had confiscated her and her son's passports after a disagreement. 


Meanwhile, it’s been reported that  Crick has returned to Australia to seek custody of the child through the Australian court system.


In a Facebook post, Szonert said: ”Thank you everyone for your love, support and assistance during this exhausting ordeal. More than anything I'm just looking forward to getting home and spending time with my son again," 


The actress played Danni Stark between 1993 and 1996, and she’s also had roles in the 2000 Australian movie The Dish and TV series Underbelly.