01/20/2014 12:25 EST | Updated 03/22/2014 05:59 EDT

Lawyer in Arctic priest sex abuse case wants 10 charges dropped

IQALUIT, Nunavut - A former priest accused of sexually abusing dozens of Inuit children in a tiny Nunavut hamlet may be taking the stand Tuesday to testify.

The trial of Eric Dejaeger is continuing after breaking before Christmas.

His lawyer has asked an Iqaluit court to drop 10 of the charges against the accused.

Crown prosecutors have agreed to drop three of the counts, mostly because the alleged victims wouldn't testify.

Justice Robert Kilpatrick reserved decision on the other seven charges.

If they are allowed to stand, Dejaeger will still face 77 counts of sex-related crimes stemming from his alleged activities in the tiny Nunavut community of Igloolik.

He was posted there as an Oblate missionary between 1978 and 1982.

He has been defrocked by his order and is no longer a priest.

Dejaeger's trial began last November and has included horrific testimony from his alleged former victims.