Topics:  commonwealth of australia, molestation, new zealand, rape charges, sexual abuse

Appeal launched against decision to extradite McGrath to Oz

A FORMER Catholic brother has today launched an appeal against a decision to extradite him to Australia to face 252 sexual abuse charges alleged to have been made against 35 complainants.

A judge earlier this month ruled that Bernard Kevin McGrath, 65, should be extradited to stand trial.

The Commonwealth of Australia wants him extradited from New Zealand to face allegations he raped, molested and abused dozens of young boys at church-run institutions in New South Wales over several decades.

At Christchurch District Court earlier this month, Judge Jane Farish ruled that extradition would not be "unjust or oppressive" to McGrath.

She remanded him on bail under existing conditions to stay at a Christchurch address until today when he had to turn himself in at Christchurch Men's Prison.

However, a notice of appeal has today been lodged at the District Court by McGrath's lawyer Philip Allan.

The grounds of appeal to the High Court first have to be signed off by the judge who made the original decision.

"The matter is now with Judge Farish," he said.

In the meantime, McGrath will continue to stay in New Zealand.

"He's not going anywhere," Mr Allan said.

Sweeping suppression orders surround the case, after requests by The Commonwealth of Australia, to "ensure the integrity of trial" and to mirror existing suppression orders in place in Australia.


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