Saturday, September 24, 2005
The Vatican has reacted angrily to claims made by the UN's chief war crimes prosecutor, Caria Del Ponte, that the Roman Catholic Church is hiding Ante Govina, a former Croatian general currently indicted for his part in the horrors of the war in the former Yugoslavia.
General Govina is said to have masterminded the massacre of at least 150 Serb civilians and the expulsion of 150,000 others. Ms Del Ponte told The Daily Telegraph that she has information that "he is hiding in a Franciscan monastery and so the Catholic Church is protecting him. I have taken this up with the Vatican and the Vatican totally refuses to cooperate with us."
A Vatican spokesman said that Ms Del Ponte had failed to present them with sufficient evidence and was trying, improperly, to use the Vatican as an enforcement tool.
Those with long memories will recall that this 'use' is something the Vatican has never liked. It would, for instance, have restricted its officials' ability to spirit the Nazi 'Transportation Administrator' Adolf Eichmmann out of Germany at the end of the Second World War when he was wanted for his central role in the extermination of millions.