Ontario provincial police in Canada are anxious to extradite Fr Godwin Scerri, who avoided prosecution there two decades ago when he fled to Malta.

The Windsor Star reported this morning that now that his Malta court case is over, the police in Ontario want Fr Scerri back.

Fr Scerri was recently found guilty by the Maltese courts of abusing boys in his care and was jailed five years. He has filed an appeal. The Attorney General is also appealing the magistrate's decision to acquit Fr Scerri of rape.

The Windsor Star said Fr Scerri is still wanted in Canada for alleged sex abuse in Emeryville and on Pelee Island.

A Canada-wide warrant for Fr Scerri remains valid. He was charged with sexual assault and gross indecency in June 1993 after a 22-year-old man came forward.

The victim had told police that Fr Scerri abused him between 1983 and 1987, starting when he was 12 years old. It happened on Pelee Island and in Emeryville.

Before the case went to trial, Fr Scerri fled to Malta.

"We are now in the process of trying to get him back here to answer to the allegations here; the serious allegations here," Sgt Dave Rektor told the newspaper.

He wasn't sure if Scerri would face additional charges for running from the law.