The UN has called on the Vatican to hand over details in the cases of tens of thousands of children allegedly abused by clergy.
The list, published on the committee’s website earlier this week, calls on the Vatican to give “detailed information” on cases of alleged abuse “committed by members of the clergy, brothers and nuns”.
The committee said it wanted to know what measures the Church has put in place to ensure clergy members accused of sexual abuse were cut off from contact with children.
It has also asked what support has been given to victims of sexual abuse by the Holy See.
Moreover, the UN has requested details where kids “were silenced in order to minimise the risk of public disclosure” and what measures the Vatican has taken to prevent further abuse.
The UN has long raised concerns about the ongoing paedophile priest scandal, but the committee’s list represents its most far-reaching request for information about the cases.
Pope Francis has vowed to “act with determination in cases of sexual abuse”.
His predecessor Benedict XVI was the first pontiff to apologise to victims.
However, campaigners have argued that Vatican words outstrip action when it comes to tackling the widespread problem of abuse and subsequent cover-ups.
The list also includes questions about other issues, including its labelling of kids born outside wedlock as “illegitimate”.
Spain’s High Court has turned down Switzerland’s request to extradite Hervé Falciani, the former HSBC Private Bank employee whose tax-evasion whistleblowing activities have become a cause célèbre. The French–Italian computer expert, who in 2008 made off with files detailing 130,000 of the Geneva-based bank’s clients, will not be required to return to Switzerland to face four charges relating to his data grab.
The court ruled that the principle of “double incrimination” is not satisfied in this case, meaning that the offenses of which Falciani is accused are not listed as such in Spanish criminal law. The Monaco-born IT expert was arrested in Switzerland – where he is accused of financial espionage, violation of the bank secrecy law, revealing commercial secrets and stealing clients’ private data – but he left the country, finally being arrested again in Spain last July.
The High Court in Madrid also considered that the information Falciani had facilitated to the tax authorities in France, Spain, Germany, Italy and the United States was related to criminal activities that are “in no way eligible for legitimate protection.”
Falciani, who had been released on bail for by the Spanish courts before his April 15 extradition hearing, is now free to travel outside Spain. Had the court ruled in favor of the Swiss request, the Spanish government would have had the last word on the extradition process.
Information released by the former bank employee has allowed the Spanish state to recover more than 300 million euros of lost taxes between 2010 and 2011, with further related investigations still in progress.
THE NATIONAL Asset Management Agency case against Seán Dunne and his wife Gayle Killilea Dunne reached stalemate yesterday with the lawyers for the developer claiming Nama has no evidence against the couple, while those for Nama were granted more time to seek further documentation.
Nama is seeking to enforce a judgment for €185 million obtained through the Irish courts against the property developer.
Nama, operating as National Asset Loan Management Ltd in the US, filed papers in Stanford, Connecticut, in July alleging Mr Dunne and his wife had “utilised a number of lawyers . . . and shell companies to hide assets from creditors”, and asked Judge Douglas Mintz to freeze the couple’s assets. This request was refused on the grounds the documents provided by Nama were insufficient to prove its argument.
Nama subsequently served papers seeking access to documents from the real estate agency Sothebys relating to property deals in Connecticut that it believes will support its case. Lawyers for the Dunnes had objected to the subpoena but yesterday withdrew that objection.
Lawyers for Nama, who have not yet been able to access the documents they requested in July, had been expecting to argue that case before a judge yesterday morning.
Attorney Peter Nolin, representing Mr Dunne, told the court that all documents falling within the scope of Nama’s subpoena would now be produced.
The attorney representing Gayle Killilea, Philip D Russell, told reporters yesterday that the couple had originally intended to litigate against Nama’s request but subsequently decided against it.
“Sothebys will go ahead and furnish the documents. We walked away from that fight,” he said. Mr Russell went on to say that Nama was on “a fishing expedition” insisting there was no evidence to back up the agency’s claim.
Nama’s case hinges on a December 2010 “statement of affairs and declaration to Nama” signed under oath by Mr Dunne, in which he disclosed information concerning his financial affairs but omitted details of the transfer of his one half-share of an apartment in Geneva to his wife in February 2010, which he sold a month later for Swiss Francs 5.3 million (€4.7 million). The agency also alleges that the couple, operating through a string of limited liability companies, has bought and sold a number of properties in Conneticut using funds diverted from Mr Dunne’s former property empire.
Attorney Peter Nolin yesterday claimed that there were jurisdictional issues relating to the Geneva property and that Gayle Killilea Dunne had bought the Connecticut properties without involving her husband. “She has her own money,” he said.