A 34-year-old father of two has been sentenced to eight years in prison after he kidnapped his six and seven-year-old sons, took them to Tunisia, and told their mother to pay him 170,000 francs ($182,000) if she wanted to get her children back.

Janine Schoch, 30, said she had told Swiss authorities on several occasions that she was afraid her husband Issam would follow up on threats to kidnap her children, newspaper Blick reports.

"I did everything in my power to prevent the abduction," she told Blick. "I reported it to child protection authorities, but they thought I was a hysterical woman who wanted to discriminate against a poor foreigner."

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