Aus wants Kiwi paedophile extradited

  • 30/08/2016
Aus wants Kiwi paedophile extradited

A convicted sex offender who was jailed then extradited from Australia could be forced to return to face further allegations he abused a young boy in the 1980s.

The Australian government has taken its fight to have the man brought back to Queensland to the Court of Appeal after losing earlier bids in the District and High courts.

The man, who cannot be named, was born in New Zealand but lived in Australia in the 1980s.

The seven charges he is facing allege the now 59-year-old committed acts of indecency against a 13-year-old boy, including oral sex and attempted anal sex, between 1985 and 1986.

The man was jailed for four years in 2002 for similar offences and deported back to New Zealand upon his release in 2006.

His lawyer, Jeffrey McCall, says it would be unfair to the man to extradite him back to Australia given the time that had passed since the alleged offending, and the fact police knew about the allegations as early as 2000 but allowed for him to be deported without having even been questioned.

The victim's mother first went to police in 2000 but investigations were stalled because he was not emotionally strong enough to make a statement.

Two years later, then in his 30s, the victim went to police to make a complaint but when an appointment was made for him to make a statement he did not attend, later making a formal complaint to police in 2012.

Mr McCall said police "went to sleep" on the investigation and that prosecutorial delay was a problem in the case.

"They closed their file in 2002, then had four and a half years to make some rudimentary inquiries," he said.

"We say it's unfair because it requires him to go back to the jurisdiction for an offence that was first known to authorities in 2002.

But Mark Lillico, representing the Australian government, said it was a well recognised phenomenon that child abuse cases had delays because victims often didn't make complaints until they reached a certain level of maturity.

"Even in situations where there's been quite a lengthy delay that hasn't stood in the way of extradition," he said.

He said Australia could be trusted to ensure the man receives a fair trial.

The District Court initially ruled it would be oppressive to return the man to Australia to face the charges.

Justice Gerard Nation upheld an appeal to the High Court saying Queensland Police had shown a lack of vigour in pursuing a timely investigation.

The Court of Appeal has reserved its decision.