Date set for McGrath extradition hearing

00:45, Jan 28 2013

April 12 has been set for a hearing to decide whether former Catholic brother Bernard Kevin McGrath must return to Australia to face 252 sex-abuse charges.

The date was set today at a Christchurch District Court hearing where McGrath, a convicted sex offender in New Zealand, made a brief appearance before Judge Emma Smith.

Australia has taken extradition proceedings against the 65-year-old, who has already served a jail term for offending against boys at Marylands School in Christchurch.

He returned from Thailand before Christmas when news broke of the charges, but has said he will oppose the extradition.

Judge Smith made timetabling orders to ensure the hearing can proceed on April 12.

Australia must file its evidence and provide copies to the defence and the Crown by March 1.

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Submissions by McGrath must be filed by March 15, and then submissions by the Australian authorities by March 29.

McGrath remains on bail during the remand and is living with his sister in Christchurch.

Phillip Allan appeared for McGrath and Mark Zarifeh appeared for the Australian authorities.

The Press