A former Catholic monk who taught at the Fort Augustus Abbey school, Scotland, is set to be extradited from Australia to face charges of child sex abuse. Fr Denis Chrysostom Alexander denies the allegations
Run by Catholic Benedictine monks, Fort Augustus Abbey school in the Highlands closed its doors to the public in 1993
“It’s almost as if it feels as though if I’m held at bay long enough, this matter will just go away.”
The BBC interviewed Mr Kennedy on Tuesday. That same day he had been told by his liaison at the Crown there was no news about his case.
On Wednesday, the BBC put Mr Kennedy’s claims to the Crown, that it had been dragging its heels over the case.
Today the Crown told the BBC it was seeking Chrysostom’s extradition.
A spokeswoman for the crown said: “Crown Counsel have instructed proceedings against Denis Alexander. Charges are being finalised with a view to seeking his extradition.”
This morning the BBC spoke to Fr Chrysostom in Sydney. He denied the allegations, and said the matter was being looked at by his archbishop.
The final decision to extradite Chrysostom will be up to the Australian authorities, but it is now possible that Mr Kennedy will get the opportunity to face his alleged abuser in a courtroom.
One other former Fort Augustus monk has appeared in court on charges of assault, a further seven cases remain under consideration. BBCNEWS
Police have received further reports of alleged abuse by monks at a former Catholic school in the Highlands.
Police – who began investigating allegations of abuse last March – said they were liaising with law enforcement agencies in the UK and beyond.
The Church has apologised for what happened at the school.
However, victims have demanded action rather than words.
Det Ch Insp Pamela Ross of Police Scotland’s Highland and Islands Division said: “Further individuals were identified as part of the investigation and following recent media coverage a further number of former pupils have come forward to speak to us.
“We understand that it must be very difficult to speak about such matters, but if anyone has any information about this case, they are encouraged to come forward and report this to police.
“Any such reports will be directed to the enquiry team and investigated and dealt with very sensitively by trained officers.”
BBC Scotland Investigates: Sins of Our Fathers, which was broadcast a week ago, contained evidence against seven monks at Fort Augustus Abbey School and its prep school in East Lothian.
The Benedictine order which ran the schools has already apologised.
Since the documentary aired, BBC Scotland has been contacted by other former pupils with fresh allegations of abuse.
On Sunday, the Bishop of Aberdeen, Hugh Gilbert, was the first senior Catholic cleric to speak about what he called the “shameful” abuse in an address to parishioners at Fort Augustus.
He said: “We are anxious that there be a thorough police investigation into all this, and that all that can be done should be done for the victims.”
But Christopher Walls, who was physically and sexually abused when he was a pupil at Carlekemp Prep School in East Lothian, told BBC Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme he was “rather less than impressed” by the apology.
He said: “My brother and I have been complaining about it since 2010, officially, and I’ve mentioned it to other clergy in between, several times, always getting a ‘shushing’ response – ‘keep quiet about it and offer it up’ – presumably not to disturb the unity of the church.
“I think these are sins crying out to heaven for vengeance, quite frankly, and the response must be more vigorous and more directly concerned with me.”
He added: “If you rob someone of their childhood and their education, you have got to put that right.”
Mr Walls said he was now looking at pursuing legal action and would be seeking financial compensation.
He added: “Ideally I would like them to settle out (of court), because it saves everybody a lot of problems, and it also would make me feel a bit prouder of the faith that I have been involved in all my life.”
“What the police will be doing is finding out if those priests are still alive or if they are dead. If they are still alive, where are they? BBCNEWS