France Denies Extradition Request for Johannes Rivoire
Ottawa – October 26, 2022 – In the matter of Johannes Rivoire, French authorities have advised that they are declining the extradition request made by Justice Canada on behalf of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC).
On October 14, 2022, French authorities indicated that they are denying the extradition request for two reasons:
- Pursuant to French law, France is prohibited from extraditing its own citizens. France has determined that at the relevant time Mr. Rivoire was a citizen of France; and,
- Under French law, too much time has passed between the events and the charges being laid.
They also advised that they could not prosecute Johannes Rivoire in France for the latter reason.
The former priest was charged in February 2022 with one count of indecent assault on a female person, contrary to s.149 of the Criminal Code. The victim was a child at the time of the offence, which occurred between January 1974 and December 1979.
All potential legal recourse to obtain Johannes Rivoire’s extradition from France or prosecution in France are exhausted. The PPSC is working with the RCMP for Interpol to issue a Red Notice, which would allow for Johannes Rivoire to be arrested in any other country. Therefore, prosecution in Canada remains possible if Johannes Rivoire leaves France.
The prosecution file and the arrest warrant remain active. The PPSC has an obligation to continually assess its cases at every stage. In the matter of Johannes Rivoire, we have determined that there remains a reasonable prospect of conviction, and that prosecution is in the public interest.
The Public Prosecution Service of Canada is a national organization responsible for prosecuting offences under federal jurisdiction in a manner that is free of any improper influence and that respects the public interest. The PPSC is also responsible for providing prosecution-related advice to law enforcement agencies across Canada.
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