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Friday, July 09, 2010

Investigators suspect more victims of the Bishop of Bruges

HLN Belgie- Parket vermoedt meer slachtoffers Vangheluwe (1130911)

Bruges investigating magistrates have broadened the investigation against former Bishop Roger Vangheluwe. There are still indications that he had more than one victim, said attorney Jean-Marie Berkvens on Friday morning . The ex-bishop is risking a prosecution for gross negligence.

In the weeks following the removal from office, some media have reported Vangheluwe about a possible second victim, and a suicide in the family Could be related to sexual abuse by the bishop. The Bruges prosecutor refused to confirm the reports, but has decided to take matters further.

"Reports of other facts"
"The first acts are under the statute of limitations, that's obvious, but we are now investigating reports that there have been other acts," says attorney Berkvens. The ongoing investigation was initially focused on a specific case, but has gradually expanded. We now are in possession in possession of documents sent by intermediaries and have examined a computer. "

The question also arises how Vangheluwe as bishop himself has responded to reports of sexual abuse. "We are investigating whether the former bishop can be prosecuted for ignoring years of complaints about sexual abuse in his diocese. The name of Cardinal Danneels also comes up," says the investigating attorney.

Cathcon- this potentially could get quite serious for the Cardinal. The former Bishop of Bruges was a good friend. Even if he knew about the first case, he could not be charged because the statute of limitations would also cover him- but if there is a more recent case and he knew something, then that is a different matter.

His claims that he knew nothing are greeted with incredulity by family members of victims who went to see him with their concerns. He at the time dismissed what he was told.
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