Local September 10, 2013 | 10:46 am

Papal envoy scandal unearths Dominican Republic’s dark pedophilia past

Santo Domingo.- Justice minister Francisco Dominguez Brito on Monday said he doesn’t know the whereabouts of ousted Vatican nuncio Josef Wesolowski, accused of pedophilia, a case reminiscent of Dominican Republic’s most shameful episode of the abuse of a minor, also linked to foreign diplomats.

He said although an investigation into the Pope’s former representative has been launched based on media reports, allegations and statements by Catholic Church dignitaries, Wesolowski has yet to be formally charged.

He said international law provides for prosecution of Polish bishop Wesolowski at the Vatican, but based on evidence gathered locally.

Dominguez cited precedents of diplomats charged in a host country and tried, convicted, sentenced and serving time in theirs.

The official affirmed that Catholic Church representatives maintain communication and collaborate in the case.

As to the related case of the Polish priest Wojciecj Gil (Alberto), also accused of pedophilia, Dominguez said in a hearing today Tuesday, the prosecution will ask he be declared a fugitive, prior to issuing an international arrest warrant.

“There’s much evidence In this case. There’s all evidence to incriminate him," jr said regarding allegations of abuse against boys at the central mountain town of Juncalito, Janico, where the prelate worked for several years.

Shameful precedent

Dominican Republic’s most tragic child abuse case, the stabbing death of 12-year-old José Rafael Llenas Aybar in May 1996, also involved a diplomat, then ambassador from Argentina Teresa Meccia, her husband Luis Palmas de la Calzada, and their son Martin Palmas, in which Llenas’ cousin Mario José Redondo Llenas was convicted of the murder, along with his friend Juan Moliné Rodriguez.

Despite society’s months-long push to get the three Argentinians to face trial in the country, the government then headed by president Joaquin Balaguer made no effort to seek justice in the case.

Testimony during the trial revealed that the Palmas, Redondo and Moliné had allegedly abused Llenas sexually for months before the murder.

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