Canada requests extradition of a French priest accused of sexual assault

This announcement comes when Pope Francis asked forgiveness for the violence committed in Aboriginal boarding schools, where many children had been victims of abuse. The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that it has received the request, for Father Joannes Rivoire, who is “under processing by the Ministry of Justice”.

Le Monde with AFP

Canada has asked for the extradition of a French priest accused of sexual assault on Inuit children over 30 years ago, which has become a symbol of impunity for the Church, confirmed confirmed Thursday, August 4, Canadian Minister of Justice David Lametti.

“I am aware of the fact that an extradition request sent to France was made public, which the officials of my ministry have just confirmed,” said the federal minister in an email transmitted to the Agence France-Presse by refusing to give more details. “It is important for Canada and its international partners that serious crimes are subject to surveys and exhaustive proceedings,” he added.

This announcement comes when Pope Francis has just finished a trip to Canada marked by the requests for pardons addressed to indigenous peoples.

Pope Francis during a ceremony in Alberta in Canada. July 25, 2022. Nathan Denette/AP

Father Joannes Rivoire, who spent three decades in the Far North Canadian, was the subject of an arrest warrant in Canada since February, after the filing of a new complaint in September for a sexual assault that occurred about 47 years ago. He has not yet been worried and the authorities have not specified the total number of his alleged victims.

The nonagenarian claims his innocence

m. Rivoire had already been the subject of an arrest warrant between 1998 and 2017 for sexual assault against three minors. It has never been followed up. The priest left Canada in 1993 and now lives in France in Lyon. But Mr. Rivoire, who has dual nationality, represents “a problem” because it is “very complicated” to extradite the French, told Agency France-Presse a source close to the file.

The nonagenarian, interviewed recently by the media, claims his innocence. In the North Canadian, his case remains emblematic of the impunity of sexual attackers in the Church.

“We would like Rivoire to be extradited to Canada to face his accusations in court and we asked the Pope to intervene to ask him to return to Canada,” Kabloona, a representative told AFP, Nunavut Inuit, when visiting the Pope.

/Media reports.