Belgian police arrest Father Eric Dejaeger
Disgraced Oblate still faces sex charges involving Igloolik children
Police in Belgium arrested Father Eric Dejaeger Jan. 3 and will hold him at a facility in the city of Bruges pending an immigration hearing, the Flemish-language P-magazine reported Jan. 5.
Dejaeger, 63, who worked as an Oblate missionary in Igloolik and Baker Lake between the late 1970s and the early 1990s, still faces six sex charges related to the sexual molestation of Inuit children in incidents alleged to have occurred in Igloolik in the early 1980s.
The Igloolik allegations were investigated by RCMP Cpl. Tom Power in 1993 and 1994, but Dejaeger never appeared in court to face the charges.
After serving out a five-year prison sentence on convictions related to sex charges involving children in Baker Lake, Dejaeger fled Canada for Belgium in 1995.
More recently, the Belgian government discovered that Dejaeger lost his Belgian citizenship when he became a Canadian citizen some time after 1977. This past Sept. 15, the Belgian government issued a statement saying the disgraced priest is no longer a Belgian citizen.
Katrien Jansseune, a spokesperson for the Belgian immigration department, is quoted in the P-magazine story as saying that Belgium wants to ship Dejaeger back to Canada.
“Dejaeger is locked up in Bruges with a view to his repatriation to Canada,” she is quoted as saying.
Technically, Dejaeger’s recent arrest is unrelated to his outstanding arrest warrants. Jansseune said Dejaeger’s Canadian passport expired in 1997 and that Belgian authorities now wish to expel him from the country.
The P-magazine story is available here: http://bit.ly/dHsgeC.