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Fr Klep being deported from Samoa


The priest at the heart of the abuse allegations in Samoa has been ordered by the government of Samoa to leave the country within 48 hours.

Australian newspapers and electronic media outlets are reporting that the reason for the expulsion given by the government is that Fr Kelp is alleged to have signed an immigration form which falsely declared he had no previous convictions.

The media outlets are also reporting that two further Salesian priests in Samoa may also be expelled.

The government move to expel Fr Klep would seem to come on top of a voluntary agreement reached between Fr Klep and the Archbishop of Apia that the priest would leave voluntarily.

The Age reports "Yesterday's (Samoa) church statement said Klep, in consultation with Samoa Archbishop Alapati Mataeliga and the Australian head of the Salesians, Father Ian Murdoch, had agreed to return to Australia to answer any outstanding charges. Both he and the Salesian order will co-operate fully with any police investigation into allegations against him."

The Australian obtained an interview with one of the co-principals of the Salesian Moamoa Theological College where Fr Klep has been working. Fr Iosefa Vaitale, received the deportation order on Klep's behalf at 1.30pm AEST yesterday.

The newspaper reports him as saying: "It is time for this to end," Father Vaitale said.

"Enough harm has been done to Father Frank (Klep) and (another priest) by the media. Now we have to make sure no further harm is done to our congregation or to the individuals concerned."

The Sydney Morning Herald also reports: "In recent years there have been child sex allegations against Australians in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Fiji and Samoa as well as East Timor. Last year an Australian, Gary Wright, was jailed in Samoa for sexually abusing a boy."

SOURCES – FULL STORIES:
The Age – Sex priest to return to Melbourne
ABC PM – Father Klep must leave Samoa within 48 hours
The Australian – Priest given 48 hours to flee
SMH – Church accused of hiding pedophile priest

EARLIER LINKS:
Salesian International Website – The Salesian Congregation rejects the accusations in "The Dallas Morning News": we condemn every kind of child abuse
Dallas Morning News – Salesians dispute report that they moved suspects in abuse
ABC – Church and State under pressure over Father Klep
Herald Sun – Second priest in secret payout
news.com.au – Samoa to demand sex abuse priest go
The Australian – Samoa's pedophile anger
The Age – Editorial: Church compounds the sins of the fathers
news.com.au – $100,000 sex abuse payout
Dallas Morning News – Convicted sexual abuser and fugitive works with kids under his religious order's wing
Dallas Morning News – Multi-media interactive presentation
The Age – Pedophile priest stays out of reach
ABC Radio PM – Priest with paedophilia conviction relocated to Samoa
ABC Radio PM – Alleged sex abuse victim speaks out
LA Times – Vatican Aware of Abuse for Centuries, Study Says
Salesian Australian website

25 Jun 2004