Priest accused of abuse out on bail

2013-09-21 08:09

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Johannesburg - A German Catholic priest, wanted for child abuse by Germany, has been released on bail but will be put on trial in November for committing similar acts in South Africa, sources said on Friday.

The priest, whose identity was not given but who was said to be in his fifties and from Aachen in western Germany, was arrested on 13 September as he left a court in the northern town of Brits where he was standing trial for assault and acts of indecency.

The arrest was based on an international warrant and a German extradition request issued several years ago, sources familiar with the case said.

Bail was set at R5 000 and his release was conditional on staying in Kwazulu-Natal where he is being hosted by the Ishowe diocese.

The South African trial will start on 8 November.

Inappropriate fondling

The acts of indecency were allegedly committed in 2008 on four boys then aged 9 and 10, some of German origin, who attended a German-language Catholic youth camp near Johannesburg.

They had complained about offers to sleep in the priest's bed and inappropriate fondling.

After November's hearing the priest could be extradited to Germany.

Contacted by AFP Archbishop William Slattery, who spoke for the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference, said the Church "didn't invite him nor appointed him to work for us".

"He came with some cases pending in Germany, he has been in this country for a number of years, how many I don't know, a few years."

He added that the case "may return to the Church and the Church can follow up" the case when the police has finished dealing with it.
Read more on:    roman catholic church  |  mahikeng  |  child abuse

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