Vatican re­call for top priest in US child porn probe

Belfast Telegraph - - NEWS - BY STAFF RE­PORTER

A HIGH-ranking Vatican priest in the Holy See’s Wash­ing­ton em­bassy has been re­called af­ter US pros­e­cu­tors asked for him to be charged in an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into im­ages of child abuse.

The Vatican de­clined to iden­tify the diplo­mat, but said he was back in Vatican City and that Vatican pros­e­cu­tors had launched their own probe. The US State De­part­ment said it asked the Vatican to lift the of­fi­cial’s diplo­matic im­mu­nity on Au­gust 21, but the re­quest was de­nied.

The Vatican said the State De­part­ment had no­ti­fied of­fi­cials on Au­gust 21 of a “pos­si­ble vi­o­la­tion of laws re­lat­ing to child pornog­ra­phy im­ages” by one of its di­plo­mats in Wash­ing­ton.

A US of­fi­cial said the priest was a se­nior mem­ber of the Vatican em­bassy staff.

The Vatican said re­call­ing the priest was con­sis­tent with diplo­matic prac­tice of sov­er­eign states. In de­clin­ing to iden­tify him, of­fi­cials said the case was sub­ject to con­fi­den­tial­ity while still un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

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