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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cardinal Danneels remains in firing line


Operation Chalice: The prosecution wants to make the decision public

At a news conference on Thursday, the prosecutor general said he had still not been authorized by the magistrate Wim De Troy to communicate regarding the ruling on Friday by the Chamber of Indictments concerning the propriety of the instruction relating to sexual abuse within the Church. The prosecutor general said he will make every effort to ensure that the content of the verdict may be disclosed. The public prosecutor is considering whether to refer this matter to the Court of Appeals. This week, the prosecution submitted, unsuccessfully, a new application to the examining magistrate to communicate about the case.

The prosecutor general said that the examining magistrate who is responsible for the file may refuse to make public the contents of the judgement, without providing justification. The Crown also ignores the reasons why the examining magistrate is acting in this manner. "We are convinced that there is a public interest in communicating about our approach," said the attorney general Peter Rans.

It's the prosecutor general who had gone to the Chamber of Indictment "because of the emotion and the various reactions to this case in public and of the victims of sexual abuse (...)" to monitor the regularity and legality of acts of investigation so that the nullity of searches cannot be raised later. The prosecution is not allowed either to communicate about his indictment, "which is as one with the judgement"

According to counsel of Cardinal Danneels, Mr. Fernand Keuleneer, the prosecutors had argued last Friday before the Chamber of Indictments of Brussels about the irregular searches as part of another matter, being a request of Cardinal Danneels and the Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels for the return of property seized last June 24. The public prosecutor had demanded the annulment of any investigation arising from these searches.
The position of the prosecution is not officially known, but it seems likely, given his submissions made last Friday that he challenges the legality of all the searches. The prosecutor's office declined to respond to the assertions on Thursday of Mr. Keuleneer. (Belga / CHDS)

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