Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Cardinals Face New Trial in Pollution Case

From USA Today:

Italy's top criminal court overturned the acquittals of a Vatican cardinal and another top churchman accused of environmental pollution involving a Vatican Radio transmission tower near Rome, news reports said Tuesday night.
The Court of Cassation ordered a new appeals trial for Cardinal Roberto Tucci, formerly head of the radio's management committee, and the Rev. Pasquale Borgomeo, its former director general, the ANSA and Apcom news agencies said.

Calls to lawyers and to Vatican Radio were not answered late Tuesday.

The two churchmen were acquitted last year after in an appeal of their 2005 conviction in a lower court, which sided with consumer groups representing people living near the tower who claimed its electromagnetic emissions were a health hazard and violated environmental limits.

The lower court had sentenced the two each to 10 days in jail, but sentences were immediately suspended during their appeals.

It was not known when the new appeals trial would take place, as the Court of Cassation must first publish its reasoning for the decision.

A Vatican-Italian government commission was set up as part of a 2001 agreement between both sides to monitor tower emissions. The Vatican has said that measurements show it has respected limits since signing the agreement.

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