Vatican arrests former diplomat after child pornography probe

Monsignor Carlo Capella, 51, will likely stand trial at the Vatican city-state criminal tribunal.

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"The accused is being detained in a cell in the barracks of the Gendarmerie Corps, available to the judicial authorities", a Vatican statement said. However, the paragraph 5 referred to in the Vatican statement says that "the penalty is increased if a considerable quantity of pornographic material is involved".

The arrest warrant was issued by the investigating magistrate of the Vatican City State Tribunal.

The Vatican said on Saturday a monsignor who was a former advisor at its USA embassy in Washington has been arrested on suspicion of watching child sex abuse.

It is the latest case the Catholic Church has faced after repeated criticism for the way it has handled scandals over paedophile priests.

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The Italian monsignor was recalled to the Vatican from Washington after the US State Department notified the Holy See on August 21 of his possible violation of laws relating to child pornography images.

He was ordained in 1993 and joined the Vatican's diplomatic corps in 2004.

Capella was recalled from the US by the Vatican secretary of country this past year after becoming caught up in a three-nation evaluation into child pornography.

A state department official told the Washington Post that the USA government had asked for Monsignor Capella's diplomatic immunity be waived so he could be prosecuted in the U.S., but the request was refused.

In 2015, Jozef Wesolowski, a former archbishop and the Holy See's former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, died of a heart attack while awaiting his Vatican trial for sexual abuse of minors and possession of child pornography.

  • Adam Floyd