The Vatican has said that a Polish archbishop accused of child abuse while serving as papal nuncio in the Dominican Republic cannot be extradited to Poland.
The confirmation follows a request for clarification by the District Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw concerning Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, one of two Polish clergyman accused of child abuse in the Dominican Republic.
“Archbishop Wesolowski is a citizen of the Vatican, and Vatican law does not allow for his extradition,” a statement from the Holy See clarified.
Przemyslaw Nowak from the District Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw has said the Vatican has confirmed that it is proceeding with its own investigation concerning the archbishop.
Since this is a very messy case, here is a timeline:
August 2013. Allegations of child abuse in the Dominican Republic are made against Archbishop Wesolowski (the papal nuncio there) and Fr. Gil – both are Polish citizens. Archbishop is recalled to Vatican, while Fr. Gil escapes to Poland. DR charges both with pedophilia and production of child pornography. Source
September 2013. Vatican pledges cooperation with DR, and opens its own investigation into Archbishop Wesolowski. DR files extradition request with Poland for Fr. Gil.
October 2013. Poland issues arrest warrant for Fr. Gil (he is released after questioning). Polish authorities refuse extradition of its own citizen, but ask DR to transmit case files, with intent to charge Fr. Gil in Poland for crimes allegedly committed in DR. Fr. Gil denies charges in a TV interview, claims accusations are revenge by drug mafia. (Interview transcript, Polish)
December 2013. Polish authorities review materials received from DR. Evidence against Fr. Gil is said to be full of holes and does not meet Polish legal standards (Polish source).
December 2013/January 2014. Poland requests files on the Gil/Wesolowski case from Vatican. Vatican replies by saying that Arch. Wesolowski cannot be extradited (above, source).