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McGrath extradition hearing suppressed

DAVID CLARKSON
Last updated 11:27 12/04/2013
Bernard McGrath
FIGHTING EXTRADITION: Former Catholic brother and convicted sex offender Bernard McGrath.

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All discussion has been suppressed in the extradition hearing for former Catholic brother Bernard Kevin McGrath.

Christchurch District Court Judge Jane Farish imposed the suppression order as the hearing began today, in which the Australian Government is seeking the 65-year-old's extradition to face 252 sex abuse charges.

McGrath has indicated he is opposing the application, and the hearing has been set down for half a day.

Judge Farish announced to the media that all the discussion would be suppressed, but they would be allowed to report that the hearing was being held, and her eventual decision - though that may also involve further suppression orders.

McGrath is a convicted sex offender who was jailed for offending against boys at Marylands School in Christchurch, in 2006.

He was arrested when he heard that charges had been laid in Australia, and then returned to Christchurch from Sri Lanka at the end of November.

He has been granted bail since then to live with his sister in Christchurch.

Phillip Allan appears as defence counsel for McGrath, and Crown prosecutor Mark Zarifeh appears on behalf of the Australian Government.

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