Priest faces extradition over abuse

By Drum Digital
17 September 2013

Catholic priest on trial for child abuse in South Africa could face extradition over 36 more counts of sexual offences against children in Germany, The New Age reported.

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, The New Age reported on Tuesday.

Georg Kerkhoff appeared in the Brits Magistrate's Court on Monday 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. Incourt on Monday, 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 2007and how he was allowed to continue working with children, despite allegations of abuse in Germany surfacing over a decade ago.

-by Sapa

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