Vatican sex abuse trial halted as ex-archbishop falls ill

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Jozef Wesolowski in a 15 March, 2013 file photo

It is not clear why the 66-year-old was hospitalised

he trial of a former archbishop charged with child sex offences has been adjourned after the defendant fell ill hours before he was due to appear in court at the Vatican.

 

Jozef Wesolowski, 66, is accused of paying for sex with children in the Dominican Republic from 2008-2013.

He is being treated in intensive care for an unspecified illness.

Wesolowski is the first high-ranking Catholic to stand trial in the Vatican on sex abuse charges.

He has already been found guilty by a special church tribunal and defrocked.

His case is seen as a test of Pope Francis’ push to tackle sex offenders.

Wesolowski, who is originally from Poland, had been recalled from his role as the Vatican’s envoy to the Dominican Republic in 2013 after allegations surfaced accusing him of abusing boys there.

The trial opened but the accused was not there

He is also charged with possession of child pornography.

If convicted, he could face between six and 10 years in a Vatican jail.

Pope Francis has overhauled the Vatican’s justice system to allow bishops to be tried in the Papal state, after the church was accused of not doing enough to tackle sex crimes against children.
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