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Priest faces sex abuse charges

A Catholic priest is alleged to have sexually abused 24 boys in Switzerland and France over a 40-year period, justice authorities in Fribourg have announced.

The man, a 68-year-old Capuchin priest, will have to appear in court in either France or in Switzerland, the investigating judge Yvonne Gendre said on Monday.

An inquiry in the western Swiss city has been looking into the cases of several priests suspected of paedophilia.

All the cases in Switzerland said to involve the priest can no longer be taken to court because they have exceeded the statute of limitations.

Gendre said she had therefore forwarded the dossier to justice authorities in the French city of Grenoble.

The judge began her inquiries in January and opened preliminary investigations against five priests. Two have since died.

The inquiry has since focused on the Capuchin priest and two other priests from Fribourg. One was exonerated and a second case was forwarded to the Neuchâtel authorities concerning incidents that allegedly occurred in the canton in 2000-2001.


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