French father Johannes Rivoire accused of sexually abusing Inuit children 30 years ago has been claimed by Canada.
Canada has demanded the extradition of a French priest accused of sexually abusing Inuit children 30 years ago, who has become a symbol of impunity for many within the church, the minister confirmed Thursday, Canadian Judge David Lametty.
“I am aware that the extradition request sent to France has been made public and it has been confirmed by officials of my ministry,” the federal minister indicated in an email to AFP, declining to provide further details.
“It is important to Canada and its international partners that serious crimes are fully investigated and prosecuted,” he added. The French Foreign Ministry confirmed it had received the request, “being processed by the Ministry of Justice”.
The announcement comes as Pope Francis wraps up a trip to Canada to apologize for violence at residential schools where many children were abused.
Father Johannes Rivoire, who has lived in Canada’s far north for three decades, has been the subject of an arrest warrant in Canada since February after a new complaint was filed in September for sexually assaulting the 47-year-old. He has not yet been charged and authorities have not specified the total number of his alleged victims.
Johannes Rivoire was already the subject of arrest warrants for sexual assaults against three minors between 1998 and 2017. It never worked. The priest left Canada in 1993 and now lives in Lyon, France. But Johannes Rivoire, who has dual citizenship, represents “a problem” because deporting French people is “very complicated,” a source familiar with the matter told AFP.
The nonagenarian, recently questioned by the media, proclaims his innocence. In the Canadian North, her case has become a symbol of impunity for church sex offenders. “We want Rivoire to be extradited to Canada to face his charges in court, and we have asked the Pope to intervene to ask him to return to Canada,” Kilikwak Kaplona, the country’s Inuit representative, told AFP. Nunavut. Visit of the Pope.