A former Catholic brother has been granted bail in Christchurch, New Zealand, while he considers his stance on 252 fresh sex abuse charges on which he faces extradition to Australia, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
The 65-year-old flew back to the city from Sri Lanka on Thursday and was arrested on Friday after fresh charges were laid in Australia.
The new charges allege he repeatedly raped, molested and abused dozens of young boys at church-run institutions in the Newcastle-Maitland diocese over several decades.
He was due to fly back to Christchurch from Sri Lanka next Saturday but he brought the flight forward.
"Instead of staying in Sri Lanka or running, he has chosen to come back," the man's solicitor told the judge when he appeared in Christchurch District Court yesterday.
The solicitor said the police now had his client's passport and suggested he could be remanded on bail with conditions that would reduce his "flight risk". This could include regular reporting to the police.
The prosecutor said the Crown opposed bail being granted because of the flight risk and the seriousness of the offending.
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