Priest held for pedophilia
Police yesterday arrested a Roman Catholic priest on pedophilia charges, following months of negotiations to have him returned from the Vatican. A police statement said the 67-year-old priest presented himself at Victoria State Police headquarters in Melbourne. His name has not been made public. The priest was charged with 10 counts of child abuse allegedly committed in Melbourne’s outskirts between 1976 and 1985. Police said they had been negotiating with the Catholic Church since July last year to have him returned to the country. Police said he was released on bail and will appear before a magistrate on Friday.
Hikers rescued after 10 days
Police yesterday found a group of hikers from the US and Finland who had been lost for 10 days in a rugged South Island nature reserve. The group, comprising two Americans and a Finn, set off on what was supposed to be a three-day walk in Kahurangi National Park on April 12, but failed to complete the trek as planned amid deteriorating weather. They were not reported missing until Sunday, prompting a major search and rescue operation in the area, which has been hit by heavy rain and flooding in recent days. Police said the trio were found in a hut located in the national park. They said all three were in good health, although one woman needed medical attention.
New arrest in rape case
A second suspect was arrested yesterday in the rape of a five-year-old girl who New Delhi police say was left for dead in a locked room and parliament was adjourned twice amid an uproar about the crime. Pradeep Kumar was arrested in Bihar State, about 1,000km from New Delhi, and was being brought to the capital, police said. Police said questioning of the first man arrested in the case, Manoj Kumar, led them to the second suspect. Manoj Kumar, 24, was arrested Saturday in Bihar and has since been flown back to New Delhi. The two men are not related. The men are accused of abducting, raping and attempting to murder the girl. D.K. Sharma, medical superintendent of the state-run hospital in New Delhi where the girl was being treated, said she was responding well to treatment and that her condition had stabilized. The lower house of parliament was adjourned twice after opposition politicians rushed into the building, some demanding discussion on the rape case. Others were protesting against corruption and other issues.
Fisherman fights off croc
A French fisherman was bloodied, but back on his fishing boat yesterday just hours after he escaped from the jaws of a young saltwater crocodile who attacked him on the northern coast. Yoann Galeran, 29, said he was swimminge to a dinghy about 15m away on Sunday night when a crocodile between 2m and 2.5m clamped down on his head and neck and attempted to drown him in a maneuver known as a death roll. “It went straight away to the top of my head and diving under the water he tried to do that spinning thing,” Galeran said. “It was going so fast — everything happened in less than five seconds and then I fell free. I’m very lucky.” Galeran was taken to a hospital in the remote town of Nhulunbuy, where he received stitches to wounds on his head and neck. Zoologist Charlie Manolis said the crocodile was too small to pose a serious threat, adding: “Had it been a 4m or bigger crocodile, there would have been a 100 percent chance that he’d be dead now.”