02 September 2014 14:19
by Jon Stibbs
Authorities in the Dominican Republic yesterday began an analysis of whether they had the legal jurisdiction to start a trial against their former papal nuncio, Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, 66.
Wesolowski faces criminal charges of soliciting underage boys for sexual acts when he was the Vatican representative in the country between 2008 and 2013.
Official sources reported witnesses and victims of Wesolowski’s alleged crimes would be questioned in the proceedings to test the legal strength of the case, reported Radio Intereconomia today.
Last month, the Vatican stripped its former ambassador of diplomatic immunity, which paved the way for the Dominican Republic to begin extradition proceedings against Wesolowski.
Rodolfo Valentín, who is legally representing Wesolowski in the Dominican Republic, predicted extradition attempts would fail because there is no agreement in place between the Dominican Republic and Poland, where the former diplomat is believed to be.
Wesolowski had been protected from justice in the Dominican Republic by his diplomatic immunity, which had jarred with Pope Francis’ stated commitment to take a zero tolerance approach to sexual abuse. Pope Francis has described the case as like a “dagger” in his heart.
Last June, the Vatican laicised Wesolowski, who will discover next month whether his appeal against the move has been successful.