Retired priest fails to block sex abuse extradition bid

By Reevel Alderson
Home affairs correspondent, BBC Scotland

Image caption,
Fr Mackenzie is accused of offences against boys at the Fort Augustus Abbey school in the Highlands

A retired Scottish priest accused of offences against boys at Fort Augustus Abbey School has failed in his bid to block an extradition order.

The minister of justice in Canada, where Robert Mackenzie has been living since 1988, agreed to a request from the Crown Office last year.

But Fr MacKenzie, who denies the allegations against him, applied for a judicial review of the decision.

That has now been refused and he now has until 3 February to appeal.

The Crown Office has made no comment on the case, but earlier said it had received a report in connection with alleged historical offences.

Fr Mackenzie's legal team in Canada has said he has been charged with a total of 16 offences following allegations made by 16 individuals.

They are understood to involve allegations of physical and sexual abuse over a period from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Any appeal must be lodged with the Canadian Supreme Court.

After he left Scotland for Canada, Fr MacKenzie, 87, worked as a parish priest in Cupar in the Canadian diocese of Regina, Saskatchewan until he retired in 2014.

Another former Fort Augustus priest, Denis Alexander, has been returned to Scotland after an extradition battle to face seven charges of child sex abuse in the 1960s and 1970s.

He appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court on 10 January and made no plea or declaration.

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