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Dominican court opens case on ex-Vatican official

Published:   |   Updated: August 27, 2014 at 02:47 PM

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) A court in the Dominican Republic is taking the first steps toward possible sexual abuse charges against a former Vatican ambassador to the Caribbean country.

An investigative magistrate is examining allegations against Josef Wesolowski to determine if there is sufficient evidence to warrant criminal charges. The Santo Domingo prosecutor's office announced that the case had been opened late Tuesday, a day after the Vatican said its former ambassador had lost his diplomatic immunity.

The Vatican recalled Wesolowski in August 2013 after allegations emerged he had sexually molested boys there.

Dominican officials say his presence is not required in the country for authorities to review an investigation of the allegations and decide whether formal charges are warranted.

The court says it will begin interviewing alleged victims on Sept. 2.

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