Travel request from Alberta priest accused of sexual assault rejected

Published: August 22, 2014

Abraham Azhakathu, a Catholic priest in Alberta facing sexual assault charges, has been denied a travel request to travel to India to attend a funeral. Submitted photo.

THE CANADIAN PRESS

PEACE RIVER, Alta. — A Catholic priest in northwestern Alberta who is accused of sexually assaulting a minor has been told he cannot travel outside Canada to attend a funeral because he is considered a flight risk.

The order was issued following a preliminary hearing Thursday in Peace River for Abraham Azhakathu, who is facing charges of sexual assault and sexual interference.

The 59-year-old man’s brother died in India earlier this year, but a request by the accused to participate in a memorial service was rejected by both the Crown prosecutor and provincial court Judge C. K. Thietke (TEE’-kah).

The priest, who remains free under strict conditions, will return to court Sept. 5 in Peace River to set a trial date.

RCMP have said the alleged assaults occurred in 2013 and were reported to police by the minor.

Azhakathu was practising in the Manning area at the time. (CKYL)

11:11ET 22-08-14

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