Cape Town – Convicted paedophile Anthony Peter Freedendal is liable for extradition to Australia to face child sex charges, the Wynberg Magistrate's Court ruled on Wednesday.
Magistrate Xoliswa Ndoyana found that the crimes he had been accused of met double criminality requirements, as they had been offences in both SA and Australia, and that the country had sufficient evidence that warranted prosecution in a foreign state.
The final extradition decision lies with Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Michael Masutha.
The 76-year-old has 15 days to appeal the ruling in the Western Cape High Court and will remain behind bars in Pollsmoor Prison while awaiting the minister's decision.
Freedendal's attorney William Booth said submissions would be made to the minister that his health, age, and the fact that the sentence imposed in SA had not been completed, be considered.
He had not yet confirmed with his client whether they would appeal the matter.
Accused tries to interject
Prior to Ndoyana giving her ruling, Freedendal, through Booth, presented the court with a letter from an Australian barrister - dated December 10, 2002 - which read that charges against him had been dismissed. It did not confirm what the charges were.
Prosecutor Megan Blows questioned the authenticity and correctness of the letter, saying that the extradition request from Australia was made in 2016.
She also pointed out that four of the charges related to incidents allegedly committed after December 10, 2002.
Ndoyana allowed the letter to be admitted.
A shackled Freedendal continuously attempted to interject during proceedings, resulting in Ndoyana ordering a short adjournment to allow Booth to have a word with his client.
Before proceedings, Freedendal's wife gave him a reassuring pat on the hand. She has been attending his court appearances religiously.
After her ruling, Freedendal thanked Ndoyana for her thoroughness.
He was arrested by Interpol in Pollsmoor Prison last year, at the request of Australian authorities.
Freedendal faces 15 charges of indecent assault, five of persistent sexual offences with a child, and four charges of sexual intercourse with a minor in the country.
Freedendal - who suffers from cancer, TB and other illnesses and conditions - had been released on bail in Australia and travelled to Cape Town in 2011. He never returned to face trial.
He was arrested, charged and sentenced in 2014 for sexual offences, reportedly involving three boys and five girls in Cape Town who attended the same church as him. He would apparently invite them for sleepovers.
He pleaded guilty to these charges, and was eligible for parole when Australian authorities requested his extradition.
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