Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Magistrate investigating child abuse in Belgian Church leaves post

Colette Callewaert volgt Wim De Troy op - De Standaard

The investigating magistrate in Brussels Colette Callewaert takes over the investigation into abuse within the Church from Wim De Troy. The President of the Court in Brussels has decided this. de Troy stood down last month. Reported by VRT (the TV channel).

Two weeks ago, de Troy knew Justice Minister Annemie Turtelboom refused to renew his mandate, which ended March 31.

de Troy raided in the summer of 2010 the Archbishop's palace in Mechelen, took the computer from Cardinal Danneels and took into custody from the Adriaenssens Commission the dossiers on hundreds of pedophile priests.

The investigation was hindered and turned into a battle about the procedure or non-validity of a number of searches and investigation activities. When De Troy was told that his faithful clerk Peggy Coppens would not be allowed to return after her maternity leave, this was too much for the investigating judge.

Investigating Judge Callewaert at end of 2010 had been for a few months in charge of the judicial inquiry after two legal complaints were made against de Troy. They claimed during the judicial inquiry that there had been breach of professional secrecy after various elements of Operation Chalice surfaced in the press.

Cathcon: only time will tell if these are deliberate manoeuvres to close down the investigation- the Justice Minister is a Flemish liberal, who will therefore stand in a long anti-clerical tradition. Five years ago, Justice Callewaert was responsible for investigating one of the leading figures of the VLD for corruption.
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