SA ex-priest fights extradition from Indonesia

A former South Australian Catholic priest is fighting extradition from Indonesia to Australia on child abuse charges.

South Jakarta District Court began hearing the application against the man yesterday, The Age reports.

It was presented with details of alleged sexual assaults against nine boys between 1977 and 1994.

Soon after the last alleged offence the man moved to Indonesia, where he has taught English and runs a clothing business, the paper says.

If successful, it will be the first extradition from Indonesia to Australia in a criminal case.

Bernard Tifaona, the lawyer for the 67 year old man, said they would fight extradition on the grounds of his age and claim the incidents did not constitute pedophilia.

Outside the court, Mr Tifaona said the man had admitted masturbating with the boys, but denied having sex with them. "He considered them adults, not children," Mr Tifaona said.

All the boys were 15 or 16 when the incidents occurred. The numerous instances of sexual contact with the nine boys were similar in detail.

In all the cases the man visited the boys in their homes after befriending their families, who were usually members of his congregation. The alleged incidents occurred around Adelaide and in Port Pirie.

The man would show the boys pornography, touch their genitals and masturbate, the court was told.

Indonesia police arrested the man in February after receiving an application from Australian authorities.

The case was adjourned until Monday, when Mr Tifaona will present statements from the man's staff, claiming he was of good character.

The man's name was not published in South Australia for legal reasons.


Ex-priest fights child abuse extradition (The Age, 18/4/08)

Former SA priest faces child-sex extradition (Adelaide Now, 18/4/08)


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