faces jail for abuse

SHAFAQNA – A former Polish archbishop could become the first papal diplomat to go to prison for paedophilia after the Vatican said it had removed his immunity and that he would be tried for sex crimes. Jozef Wesolowski was defrocked on June 27. This means he can no longer celebrate mass or administer the sacraments, after claims he paid children for sex acts in the Dominican Republic, where he was papal nuncio. Mr Wesolowski is appealing against being defrocked. If he loses, he could face a criminal trial under the Vatican’s own justice system, where he risks a maximum of 12 years in jail, or might be extradited to face trial in the Dominican Republic or in his native Poland. The New York Times has accused the Vatican of failing to inform authorities in Santo Domingo, secretly recalling the nuncio to Rome before he could be investigated and invoking diplomatic immunity to shield him from prosecution. The Vatican denies this. Officials in the Dominican Republic have identified four victims, aged between 12 and 17, who say that they performed sex acts for Mr Wesolowski in exchange for money. One boy suffered from epilepsy and was allegedly paid in the medicine he needed for his condition.

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