Child sex claims: Court orders priest's extradition

2014-06-11 05:00
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Johannesburg - A German Catholic priest who fled to South Africa after being charged with child sex in his home country, is set to be extradited.

A judge on Tuesday cleared the way for the extradition of Georg Kerkhoff after six years of court cases.

He will be sent to Germany to face more than 30 counts of sexual offences against children once Justice Minister Mike Masutha approves the judicial decision, a court official said.

The decision was expected in the next three days. Kerkhoff, who is in die fifties, will remain in custody.

He had been free on bail since last September.

Originally from Aachen in West Germany, Kerkhoff was sought for alleged child sex. 

He had claimed that he had made a new start in South Africa, but in 2008 four boys - then aged nine and ten - who attended a German-language Catholic youth camp near Johannesburg complained about offers to sleep in the priest's bed and of inappropriate fondling.

During the court case Kerkhoff found refuge in a Catholic diocese in KwaZulu-Natal.

The Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference earlier denied any connection with Kerkhoff, or having invited him to work in the country.

Read more on:    germany  |  johannesburg  |  child abuse

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