Canada has requested the extradition of a French priest accused of sexually abusing indigenous children more than 30 years ago, Canada’s Justice Minister David Lemmy confirmed Thursday.
“I am aware that the extradition request sent to France has been made public, which has just been confirmed by ministry officials,” Lammetti said in an email to AFP, declining to give further details. “
“It is important to Canada and its international partners that serious crimes are fully investigated and prosecuted.”
The French foreign ministry confirmed it had received the request and said it was being processed by justice authorities.
The announcement comes shortly after Pope Francis completed a historic visit to Canada, where he apologized for decades of abuse of indigenous children in Catholic schools.
Priest Johannes Revere, who has spent three decades in Canada’s far north, has been the subject of an arrest warrant in Canada since February, after a new complaint was filed in September for sexual abuse that occurred nearly 47 years ago.
He has never been charged and authorities have not released the number of alleged victims.
Revere was the subject of an arrest warrant for allegedly sexually abusing three minors between 1998 and 2017. It was never implemented. The priest left Canada in 1993 and now lives in Lyon, France.
Sources close to the case told AFP that Revoire, who holds dual citizenship, represents a “problem” because the extradition of French people is “very complicated”.
The 93-year-old priest has said in recent media interviews that he is innocent.
In Canada’s north, her case has become a symbol of the immunity of sex offenders in the church.
“The pope is the leader of the Catholic Church and … he should be able to call on Rewire to face his accusations,” Kilkwak Kiblona, chief executive of an organization representing Inuit in Nunavut, told AFP during the pope’s visit. Told to
“We would like Rewire to be extradited to Canada to face his charges in court.”
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