A former Catholic brother today has an appeal hearing against
a judge's decision to have him extradited to Australia to
face 252 sexual abuse charges.
The Commonwealth of Australia want Bernard Kevin McGrath, 65,
extradited from New Zealand to face allegations he raped,
molested and abused dozens of young boys at church-run
institutions in New South Wales over several decades.
They launched the extradition process last November.
McGrath returned voluntarily to Christchurch from Sri Lanka
where he had been reportedly living on a tea plantation.
After being bailed to live with his sister in Christchurch,
he appeared several times at Christchurch District Court.
Judge Jane Farish ruled earlier this year that he should
stand trial across the Tasman.
She ruled that extradition would not be "unjust or
oppressive" to McGrath.
Legal aid and representation would be available to him in
Australia, Judge Farish told him in June.
She also made sweeping suppression orders, after requests by
The Commonwealth of Australia, to "ensure the integrity of
trial" and to mirror existing suppression orders in place in
But McGrath lodged an appeal to the High Court, and is there
today in Christchurch with lawyer Phillip Allan and counsel
Pip Hall QC to argue against the move before Justice
- Kurt Bayer of APNZ