Bernard McGrath faces 252 sex abuse charges

02:11, Aug 26 2014

Former Catholic brother Bernard Kevin McGrath will face child sex abuse charges in Australia, the justice minister has ruled.

In November 2012, Australia requested the extradition of McGrath on 252 charges of sexual offending between 1977 and 1986.

Authorities allege that he raped, molested and abused dozens of young boys at church-run institutions.

In June last year, Christchurch District Court Judge Jane Farish decided McGrath's extradition should be granted, but the case was successfully appealed to the High Court.

The case was then referred back to district court level, from where Judge Farish sent it on to Justice Minister Judith Collins.

''I am satisfied that there are extraordinary and compelling reasons for the matter to be referred to the minister,'' Judge Farish said in January.

Today, Collins' office confirmed that ''after careful consideration'' she had issued an order for McGrath's surrender to Australia.

A spokeswoman for the minister said McGrath had filed judicial review proceedings challenging Collins' decision.

''Given that the matter is now before the High Court, it would be inappropriate for the minister to comment further,'' she said.

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