Bali Arrest of Australian Child Sex Suspect

By Karen Michelmore

July 16, 2008,23599,24029155-2,00.html

AN Australian man who fled the country after being accused of child sex abuse has been detained on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.

Paul Francis Callahan, 47, was arrested in the tourist precinct of Kuta on Saturday following a request from Australian authorities, Bali police said today.

Authorities plan to seek his extradition to Australia where he is expected to face up to 12 charges, including gross indecency and sexual assault of someone under 16 years.

The offences allegedly occurred in Canberra six years ago.

Mr Callahan left Australia in 2003 after the abuse claims surfaced, Bali deputy police chief Erwin Chahara Rusmana said.

"The suspect was under investigation in Australia and was named as a suspect but then he fled to Indonesia,'' Chief Rusmana said.

Despite being in Indonesia illegally, Mr Callahan was running a surfwear company in Bali and had an Indonesian wife and child, he said.

"Australian authorities gave the information about the suspect committing pExtraditionedophile crimes (to us) in July,'' Cheif Rusmana said.

"For now the suspect is being detained in Bali police detention until the extradition process begins.''

Mr Callahan was paraded in front of the media at Bali police headquarters today.

He will undergo an extradition hearing in Denpasar District Court within weeks, and permission to deport him will also be sought from the president's office and several government ministries, Rusmana said.

"After there is confirmation that the extradition has been granted he will be deported,'' he said.

"The extradition process should not be more than eight months (long) because Indonesia and Australia have a long relationship, we have an extradition treaty.''

The arrest prompted a warning for Indonesian children to be wary of Australian tourists.

"Many crime violators in Australia have fled to Bali,'' Chief Rusmana said.

"We ask people to be aware ... we also ask children under age who frequently mingle with Australian citizens to be careful.''

The arrest comes three months after a Jakarta court formally approved the extradition of another Australian accused of child sex offences.

Former South Australian priest Charles Alfred Barnett, 67, remains in police detention in Jakarta waiting to be sent home to face charges over alleged sexual offences against six boys between 1977 and 1994.

He was arrested in February following a request from Australian authorities, and the South Jakarta District Court approved his extradition in April.


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