Vatican City, Nov 22, 2019 / 11:00 am
Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta has denied that he is avoiding a return to Argentina, where he is being prosecuted for "aggravated continuous sexual assault" and fraud. The bishop's whereabouts remain unknown.
In a statement to members of the press released on Thursday, a spokesman for Zanchetta said the bishop was not in "rebellion" over a Nov. 20 request by prosecutors for his arrest, after the bishop allegedly failed to cooperate in his own ongoing trial.
On Wednesday, a prosecutor of sexual crimes in the Argentine city of Orán, María Soledad Filtrín Cuezzo, requested international assistance in Zanchetta's arrest, saying he had not responded to repeated telephone calls or emails addressed to the contact information provided by his lawyer.
On Thursday, Associated Press quoted the statement released on Zanchetta's behalf by Javier Belda, saying that the bishop had not received any order from a judge to surrender himself or return to Orán, and that he remained committed to cooperating with the court proceedings.