Preliminary hearing in priest’s fraud case continues

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Father Amer Saka, 52 was charged in July 2016 and had been suspended from his duties since March 2016

The London Free Press

Published on: March 27, 2018 | Last Updated: March 27, 2018 7:48 AM EDT

Amer Saka, the former pastor at St. Joseph’s Chaldean Catholic Church in London, is seen outside the London courthouse where his preliminary hearing on fraud and other charges continued Monday, March 26. Mike Hensen/The London Free Press Mike Hensen/The London Free Press

A preliminary hearing is testing the evidence in the case of a London priest charged with defrauding more than 20 people of money meant for refugees.

Father Amer Saka, 52, is on bail and was in London court Monday as the lengthy hearing continued. Ontario Court Justice Allan Maclure has heard a week of evidence and proceedings are expected to last all week and beyond.

A preliminary hearing determines whether there is enough evidence for the case to continue to trial in a higher court.

There is a publication ban on evidence presented at the hearing.

Saka is represented by Toronto lawyer Iryna Revutsky.

Saka was charged in July 2016. He had been suspended from his duties at St. Joseph’s Chaldean Catholic Church and the Mar Ouraha parish in Kitchener since March 2016.

There had been reports that more than $500,000 had gone missing from a refugee trust fund that involved money from 20 people.

There also had been reports that the money was gambled away.

London’s Chaldean Catholic community is a small congregation made up of first-generation immigrants, many of them from Iraq, Syria and Turkey.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Hamilton, which oversaw the refugee sponsorship program, made a promise to follow through on any sponsorships days after the scandal broke.

1 Response to Preliminary hearing in priest’s fraud case continues

  1. Sylvia says:

    A 10-day preliminary hearing into fraud allegations against Father Amer Saka commenced 19 March ’18. It is scheduled wrap up this Friday, 30 March 2018.

    Imagine. This is Holy Week. What a disgrace. A priest spending the days of Holy Week – including Good Friday – in court.

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