Belgian priest admits abuse

Last updated 00:18 30/12/2010

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A Belgian priest and prominent Third World development activist has admitted he sexually abused a minor 40 years ago, according to the director of the development aid organisation he founded.

The case of Francois Houtart came to light after the victim's sister came forward in reaction to a campaign to nominate the priest for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Bernard Duterme, director of Cetri, says Houtart resigned from the organisation's board in November.

Houtart, who is currently in Ecuador, didn't immediately respond to phone calls and email Wednesday, but in an interview with Belgian newspaper Le Soir, Houtart is quoted as saying he twice touched ''the intimate parts'' of a boy he describes as his cousin 40 years ago. He calls the incident ''inconsiderate and irresponsible''.

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- AP

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