Vatican City, Jul 11, 2015 / 09:29 am
The criminal court of Vatican City State held on Saturday the first hearing in the trial of Jozef Wesolowski, the laicized, former apostolic nuncio to the Dominican Republic, who is charged with possession of child pornography and for pedophile acts.
Vatican City's promoter of justice, Gian Piero Milano, testified July 11 that Wesolowski was not present, as he had been taken to hospital, following an unexpected illness. Wesolowski, 66, is currently in an intensive care unit.
Because of the defendant's hospitalization, the Vatican City State Tribunal suspended the trial and postponed it until Wesolowski is able to be present.
The promoter of justice is being assisted by Alessandro Diddi and Roberto Zannotti, and the defense counsel for Wesolowski is Antonello Blasi.
The judges in the trial are Giuseppe Dalla Torre, Piero Antonio Bonnet, Paolo Papanti-Pellettier, and, as a substitute, Venerando Marano.
In 2013, allegations arose that then-Archbishop Wesolowski had engaged in sexual misconduct. He resigned as apostolic nuncio to the Dominican Republic on Aug. 21 of that year. After the printing of the original accusations, a 13-year-old boy came forward with further allegations that Wesolowski had solicited him for sexual favors in exchange for money.
In a June 2014 canonical trial, the tribunal of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith found him guilty of sexual abuse. As a result, Wesolowski was laicized, a serious canonical penalty that renders one unable to celebrate the sacraments.
Following the canonical trial, Vatican City decided to also hold a criminal trial of Wesolowski. Due to his poor health, in September he was placed under house arrest, rather than being jailed in Vatican City's prison.