1998 Swiss Guard Case May Be Reopened

But Vatican Says Lawyers’ Accusations Are «Unacceptable»

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VATICAN CITY, JULY 7, 2002 (Zenit.org).- The Vatican said it might reopen the investigation into the 1998 Swiss Guard tragedy, but labeled the accusation of two French lawyers against it as «unacceptable.»

The Vatican Press Office responded in a statement to the accusations of lawyers Jacques Verges and Luc Brossolet, hired by Muguette Baudat, mother of Swiss Guard Cedric Tornay.

On Friday, Brossolet said in Rome that «the only means of expression of Vatican justice are secrecy, silence and abuse.»

According to the Vatican, on May 4, 1998, Swiss Guard Vice Corporal Tornay, 23, in a fit of madness, killed Swiss Guard Colonel Alois Estermann and his wife, Gladys Meza Romero, in their home in the Vatican, before committing suicide.

The lawyers Verges and Brossolet say the Vatican’s official version is erroneous. They claim that Tornay was killed by another person — hence, their call for the reopening of the investigation.

Verges is famous for his defense of figures such as Nazi Klaus Barbie, German head of the Gestapo in Lyon, France, and former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

«At present, this petition is being examined» by the Promoter of Justice of the Tribunal of Vatican City State, in keeping with the penal code, the Vatican press statement explained. Vatican justice closed the case in 1998.

«The offensive statements directed against the Holy See, Vatican City State, and its judicial bodies are totally unacceptable, in addition to lacking any foundation,» the Vatican statement concludes.

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