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Teutonic Cemetery, Vatican © Camposanto.Va

Orlandi Affair: Opening of Two Graves in the Vatican’s Teutonic Cemetery

Decree of Vatican Justice after Investigation

Vatican Justice has ordered the opening of two graves in the small State, announced the Director of the Holy See Press Office, on July 2, 2019: a provision  for the complex implementation, which took place in the framework of investigations on the disappearance on June 22, 1983, of young Italian Emanuela Orlandi, then 15 years old, daughter of a Vatican employee.

Over the last months, Emanuela Orlandi’s family has pointed out the possible concealment of her corpse on the Teutonic cemetery. A dossier was then opened on this “painful and complex” case,” and the Office of the Promoter of Justice of the Court of Vatican City State finally issued a decree on June 27, 2019, ordering the opening of the two graves.

The operations will be carried out on July 11, in the presence lawyers of the two parties — besides Emanuela Orlandi’s family, the relatives of persons buried in these graves — with the technical help of Professor Giovanni Arcudi and of the Commandant of the Vatican Gendarmerie, Domenico Giani. Gendarmes and worker of Saint Peter’s Fabric will take part in the “complex” operations.

The operations, added the Holy See’s spokesman, “are only the first phase of a series of investigations already planned”: after the opening of the graves and the uncovering of the remains, experts will examine them to establish the dating of the finds and the DNA.

For reasons of a juridical character, specified Alessandro Gisotti, the Vatican authority has no jurisdiction to carry out investigations on the disappearance, in Italy, of Emanuela Orlandi. Italian investigators carried out these investigations  “with professional scrupulosity and rigor.” The Vatican’s initiative is concerned only with the investigation of the eventual burial of Emanuela Orlandi’s body in the territory of the Vatican State.

About Anne Kurian

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