Vat­i­can re­calls diplo­mat over child porn

The Daily Star (Lebanon) - - WORLD -

VAT­I­CAN CITY: The Vat­i­can has re­called one of its diplo­mats from Wash­ing­ton and opened an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into allegations that he viewed im­ages of child pornog­ra­phy, the Holy See’s press ser­vice said Fri­day. The Vat­i­can said U.S. author­i­ties had in­formed it on Aug. 21, via diplo­matic chan­nels, “of a pos­si­ble vi­o­la­tion of laws re­lat­ing to child pornog­ra­phy im­ages by a mem­ber of the diplo­matic corps of the Holy See ac­cred­ited to Wash­ing­ton.” “The Holy See, fol­low­ing the prac­tice of sov­er­eign states, re­called the pri­est in ques­tion, who is cur­rently in Vat­i­can City,” a state­ment read. The Vat­i­can, which did not name the “pri­est,” added a ju­di­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tion was un­der­way and that ef­forts had been made through “in­ter­na­tional col­lab­o­ra­tion to ob­tain el­e­ments rel­a­tive to the case.” Given the in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­mained at a pre­lim­i­nary stage, the case was sub­ject to con­fi­den­tial­ity, the Vat­i­can said. If the ac­cu­sa­tions pan out, the case would be a ma­jor em­bar­rass­ment for the Vat­i­can and Pope Fran­cis, who has pledged “zero tol­er­ance” for sex­ual abuse. –

Malaysia probes foul play in deadly school fire

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian author­i­ties said Fri­day they had not ruled out foul play in a fire that killed 23 chil­dren and teach­ers in an Is­lamic school, as calls mounted for bet­ter safety reg­u­la­tions at re­li­gious study cen­ters. The Fire and Res­cue Depart­ment ini­tially said they be­lieved the blaze – the worst in Malaysia for two decades – was caused by an elec­tri­cal short cir­cuit or a mos­quito-re­pelling de­vice. But Khirudin Drah­man, di­rec­tor of Kuala Lumpur’s Fire and Res­cue Depart­ment, told AFP that author­i­ties were now in­ves­ti­gat­ing claims gas cylin­ders could have played a role. “We have not ruled out foul play,” Khirudin said, adding that fires in dor­mi­to­ries were typ­i­cally caused by unat­tended cook­ing or mos­quito coils. “The foren­sic team is do­ing the lab­o­ra­tory tests. We want to wrap up the re­sults as soon as pos­si­ble.” Eleven of the school­boys were buried Fri­day as 1,000-strong crowd of mourn­ers watched in somber si­lence. –

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