TECHNOLOGY

Priests accused of sexually abusing six children are extradited to Britain to file charges


Priests accused of sexually abusing six children are extradited to Britain to file charges

  • Retired priest Denis Alexander, 83, is accused of sexually abusing six children
  • The alleged offenses took place in a Catholic boarding school in Scotland in the 1970s
  • Alexander was arrested in Australia and has lost a legal offer against extradition

A retired Sydney priest who was accused of sexually abusing six children in the United Kingdom in the 1970s has lost a legal offer against extradition.

83-year-old Denis Alexander was arrested in Australia in January 2017 after the UK applied for extradition on charges of physically and sexually abusing children at a Catholic boarding school in Scotland between 1970 and 1976.

The children were between 11 and 15 years old at the time.

83-year-old Denis Alexander was arrested in Australia in January 2017 after the UK applied for extradition on charges of physically and sexually abusing children at a Catholic boarding school in Scotland between 1970 and 1976

More than two years after his arrest, Attorney General Christian Porter decided to hand Alexander over to the UK in March 2019.

Alexander then submitted an application to the Federal Court to review the decision.

Alexander's lawyer Greg Smith SC argued that the Attorney General's Council had given "insufficient attention" to the priest's age and health risks when he was forced to travel to the UK.

The court was informed that Alexander had multiple chronic and persistent health problems and was diagnosed with cognitive impairment. He has a preliminary assessment of early dementia.

Sending him overseas would reduce his life expectancy, pose a real risk of death, and undermine his ability to defend himself in criminal proceedings, argued Mr. Smith.

However, federal judge Michael Lee rejected the application on Thursday, noting that the department's analysis of Alexander's health was transparent and had been reviewed by the attorney general.

"In short, the attorney general's decision is one that a decision maker could reasonably make," he said.

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