WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court cleared the way today for the return to Zimbabwe of the allegedly abused son of an expelled diplomat, despite the boy's pending application for asylum.
The court's action, lifting a stay of a New York federal court order allowing the return of 9-year-old Terence Karamba, came at the behest of State Department officials, who said keeping the boy here violates international law.
Justice Harry A. Blackmun last weekend temporarily blocked the boy's return to Zimbabwe.
The full court considered the matter today at its closed-door conference and lifted the stay.
Court papers filed in New York on behalf of the boy allege that his father, Floyd Karamba, tied him hand and foot, hung him from pipes in the family's basement and beat him with an electrical cord while his mother watched.
State Department spokesman Charles E. Redman reaffirmed the department's decision to hold up Terrence's return to Zimbabwe until the child is medically ready to go home and has received psychological counseling.
The department has said that steps have been taken to protect the boy from further parental abuse when he is sent home and that initially he will be placed in a foster home there.