Local January 18, 2014 | 12:07 am

Vatican refuses extradition of former ambassador

Santo Domingo.– The Holy See told Polish prosecutors that its former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Polish Archbishop Josef Wesolowski, is covered by diplomatic immunity and that the Vatican does not extradite its citizens.

Wesolowski´s case has raised questions about whether the Vatican, in recalling him from Dominican jurisdiction, was shielding him and giving its own investigations priority over those of the Dominican Republic.

The former ambassador is the highest-ranking Vatican official ever to be investigated for alleged sex abuse. Poland also opened an investigation into the archbishop and a fellow Polish priest.

Reverend Federico Lombardi, spokesman for the Holy See, has denied that Rome was protecting Wesolowski and said that the Vatican was cooperating with outside investigations while conducting its own.

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