German priest in SA faces extradition over child abuse

2013-09-17 09:58

A German Catholic priest on trial for child abuse in South Africa could face extradition over 36 more counts of sexual offences against children in Germany.

Georg Kerkhoff appeared in the Brits Magistrates’ Court yesterday in connection with the German offences, after Interpol arrested him at the same court last week.

Kerkoff’s lawyer, Graham Kerr-Phillips, said his client’s arrest on the German charges was “unnecessary and arbitrary”, according to the report.

A German newspaper reported earlier that Kerkhoff allegedly shared beds, saunas, and showers with young men and boys.

Kerkhoff had been on trial in South Africa for five years on charges relating to alleged sexual assault of boys during a church camp in Gauteng in 2008.

In court today, the matter was postponed to Thursday for a bail application.

The court heard that German authorities would seek Kerkhoff’s extradition after his South African trial was complete.

According to the report, the Catholic Church in South Africa was unable to explain Kerkhoff’s transfer to South Africa in 2007 and how he was allowed to continue working with children, despite allegations of abuse in Germany surfacing over a decade ago.

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