SAMOA EXTRADITES CONVICTED PRIEST TO AUSTRALIA

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SYDNEY, Australia (ABC News Online, June 25) - Catholic priest Frank Klep has been arrested at Melbourne Airport in relation to sexual assault charges from 1998.

The arrest came after the Samoan government on Wednesday announced plans to deport Klep to Australia in cooperation with Australian authorities, saying the convicted priest made a false declaration when entering Samoa in 1998.

Klep was convicted of five counts of indecent assault before he moved to Samoa six years ago.

He flew back this morning and was arrested by Sexual Crime Squad detectives.

He is expected to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court today.

Father Ian Murdoch, the Provincial of the Salesians, says Klep returned to defend himself against the charges. He says the order will fully cooperate with police.

Meanwhile, Samoan officials say that another Catholic priest, Father John Ayres, is under scrutiny in Samoa for similar charges.

June 25, 2004

ABC News Online: http://abc.net.au/news/

 

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