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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Lawyer for Cardinal Danneels goes ballistic

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7s7 Belgique - Operation Calice: risque de nullite de l'instruction....

Operation Chalice: risk of invalidity of the investigation ...

Counsel of Cardinal Danneels and the Archbishop of Malines-Brussels, Mr. Fernand Keuleneer, said on Thursday that the somewhat terse communication of the Brussels public prosecutor on the subject of the decision of the Court of Indictment may invalidate the investigation of sexual abuse within the Church.

Last Friday, the Brussels public prosecutor had said he was authorized by the magistrate Wim De Troy to communicate about the decision of the Court of Indictment concerning the legality and regularity of investigation.

A spokesman had said that the investigation was continuing and that the investigating judge De Troy "at this time" still is responsible for the case file. The details from the public prosecutor were "incorrect, inaccurate and ultimately misleading" which risk invalidating the investigation, Keuleneer reacted.

The decision of the Court of Indictment delivered on Friday, August 13 remains secret. The prosecutor general said Thursday he will strive for the content of the decision to be communicated. "The execution of the decision must be followed within a reasonable time. When it is executed, inevitably its contents will be known," Keuleneer considers.

The Prosecutor General also believes that sooner or later the content of the decision will be reported. Victims who are civil parties themselves should be able to read this ruling. "Allowing access to certain documents, including this decision must be allowed in accordance with legal provisions," the prosecutor general who has advised the victims' lawyers about the rules to be followed. (Belga)

Cardinal Danneels remains in firing line

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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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