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Adelaide Archbishop's trial in the balance

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A neuropsychologist will examine Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson next week to determine if he is fit to stand trial in NSW over claims he covered up sexual abuse.

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Wilson, 67, who was not required to appear in Newcastle Local Court today after having had a pacemaker fitted on November 22, will be psychologically tested in Adelaide on Tuesday afternoon to find out if he is capable of understanding the case against him.

Wilson, the most senior Catholic official in the world to be charged with concealing child sex assault, had been due to stand trial on Tuesday this week before it was claimed he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and had cognitive difficulties.

Magistrate Caleb Franklin, who was told the earliest Wilson could be tested by a neuropsychologist in Adelaide was next Tuesday, ordered the case return to court next Wednesday to give the archbishop time to travel to Newcastle for the case to finally begin if he is found fit to stand trial.

If Wilson is found unfit, the trial is expected to be adjourned until next year.

Wilson has pleaded not guilty to concealing information about the sexual assault of a 10-year-old boy in 1971 by the now-dead pedophile priest James Fletcher in the NSW Hunter region.

The NSW Court of Appeal in June dismissed Wilson’s third attempt to have the proceedings against him quashed or permanently stayed.

– AAP

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