The father of four sisters at the centre of an international custody dispute has broken his silence to call for privacy to allow his daughters to adjust to being back in Italy.
The Family Court in Brisbane last week ordered the four girls return to their father after their mother brought them to Australia for a holiday in 2010 and never went back.
The father told reporters outside his family villa in Italy that while the two younger girls had not kicked up a fuss about their return, the eldest two girls were still traumatised by the legal battle.
He said they had run towards a media pack waiting at the gates, screaming out for help.
'My daughters think that with the Australian media near them today, the journalists will save them,' The Courier-Mail reported him as saying.
'But it's not the reality.
'Australian journalists were at the house today filming and they (the girls) were yelling out 'help, help'.
'These images will be shown in Australia - but this will not help my daughters.'
The father said the girls would adjust better if media left them alone.
'It (media coverage) needs to stop so the situation can become more tranquil,' he said.
'We can't continue with this spectacle that's been happening. The situation needs to become tranquil and we need to have common sense.'
Federal police removed the sisters, aged nine to 15, from their home on Queensland's Sunshine Coast on Wednesday night.
The girls were separated on Thursday when the eldest two were removed from a flight from Brisbane in a highly emotional state.
The mother's side of the family have indicated they will consider a legal challenge in Italy.
The Family Court in Brisbane ruled there were no exceptional circumstances allowing it to disregard Australia's obligations under the Hague Convention on child abduction.