VATICAN CITY: The Vatican’s justice system harks back to medieval times and is unlikely to provide the pope’s butler with fair treatment after his arrest for leaking confidential documents, according to a French lawyer involved in a previous case in the Holy See.
Luc Brossollet is not involved in the so-called “Vatileaks” case shaking the papacy but he said his personal experience suggested the Vatican’s judiciary is under the thumb of the Holy See and allows scant regard for the rights of defendants.
Brossollet was lawyer for the mother of Cedric Tornay, a young soldier in the Swiss Guard, the Pope’s personal protection unit, who was found dead in May 1998 in a Vatican apartment alongside the bodies of the corp’s commander and his wife.
“The Vatican does not have a modern, democratic judicial system that guarantees the defendant’s rights. We are back to the Middle Ages. Even the Inquisition had some rules, but they don’t have any. They just do as they wish,” Brossollet told Reuters over the phone from Paris. “The Vatican promotes the respect of human rights anywhere in the world, but it does not adhere to the same principles in its own courtyard,” he said. “I think that poor butler is being detained arbitrarily.”
After an official investigation, the Vatican concluded that Tornay had shot dead Swiss Guard commander Alois Estermann and his wife in a fit of rage over being passed over for promotion, before killing himself with the same weapon.