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Extra charges for priest in child abuse case

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 19.02.2014 09:00
A priest accused of child abuse in the Dominican Republic has also been charged with crimes against Polish citizens.

Father Wocjiech G. is brought to the Warsaw District Prosecutor's Office. Photo: PAP/Tomasz Gzell

Przemyslaw Nowak, spokesman for the Warsaw District Prosecutor's Office, has revealed that Father Wojciech G. (full name withheld under Polish privacy laws), has had four charges brought against him in total, two of which “relate to acts committed in Poland, to the detriment of Polish citizens.”

It had previously been understood that the entire case against the priest concerned alleged crimes against citizens of the Dominican Republic.

“The acts against Polish citizens are from several years ago,” Nowak noted.

Nowak said the charges relate to various sexual offences against minors, and that some of the charges carry penalties of up to 12 years in prison.

Father Wojciech G. was on holiday in Poland last year when allegations emerged against him in the Dominican Republic, and he refused to return to his parish.

He has denied any crimes since the outset of the investigation, and Nowak said that the priest has declined to comment on the allegations since being detained on Monday in his family's village near Krakow.

Father Wojciech G. had served as head of a parish in the Dominican Republic in the highland town of Juncalito for close to a decade.

Although authorities in the Dominican Republic have already formally charged the priest, Poland has no extradition treaty with the Caribbean country at present, and it is expected that the priest will be tried in Poland.

The Dominican Republic's Attorney General sent the case files, which include 650 documents, to Poland last autumn.

Father Wojciech G.'s is one of two current cases involving Polish clergymen in the Caribbean country. The Dominican Republic's attorney general transferred case files to the Vatican last year concerning Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, former papal nuncio in the country.

It is understood that the archbishop is residing in Rome or the Vatican City, and the Holy See has confirmed that it will not extradite the clergyman, and will instead lead its own investigation. (nh)

Source: PAP

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