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Slovak Police won’t apologise to accused Franciscan friars

The Slovak Police Corps has rejected statements that it made mistakes in its investigation of alleged child abuse by three Franciscan monks.

The Slovak Police Corps has rejected statements that it made mistakes in its investigation of alleged child abuse by three Franciscan monks.

“Police proceeded in line with provisions of the Penal Order, in a normal manner, as in other cases,” said Bratislava Police spokesperson Tatiana Kurucová, as quoted by the SITA newswire. “The entire investigation was supervised by the Bratislava I District Prosecutor's Office.”

The fact that the alleged victims changed their testimony during the investigation and the investigator proceeded according to what was, at that time, the available evidence, is no reason to hold law enforcement bodies responsible, said the police, adding that they therefore see no reason to apologise. The Prosecutor's Office also proceeded in line with the law and therefore has no reason to apologise either, said spokesperson René Vanek.

Provincial Minister of the Franciscan Order Andrej Mihály said on November 24 that “under normal circumstances, somebody should apologise for the steps taken by the prosecutor's office and the police in this case”.

On October 28, 2009, the Bratislava I District Prosecutor's Office decided to halt criminal prosecution of three members of the order charged as accomplices in the sexual molestation of two boys. The office later halted the proceedings, concluding that the alleged offence did not happen.

According to Mihály, in the early stages of the so-called operative investigation, the prosecutor, the district court and the police did not consider it important to look into the possibility of untruths in the boys' testimony, based on which charges were levied against three members of the Franciscan Order. The police team that surrounded a monastery in Bratislava, the detention of three friars in another town, and their transportation, handcuffed, without informing them of the charges against them, all suggest that this was either an elaborate attempt to discredit the order and the Roman Catholic Church or a poorly carried out procedure by law enforcement bodies, he said.

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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