Italian pro Berlusconi priest accused of sexually molesting children

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Another video from the USA which used to be on YouTube used to say about itself:

What does a [US] Presidential Candidate named Giuliani and a Priest who has been accused of child molestation have in common? Well the Priest works for Candidate Giuliani.

From British daily The Independent:

Priest accused of molesting young addicts

By Peter Popham in Milan

Published: 29 December 2007

One of Italy’s most colourful priests and the founder of a network of drug rehabilitation centres is expected to be charged with sexually molesting young recovering addicts at the headquarters of his organisation near Perugia in Umbria.

Monsignor Pierino Gelmini, 82, is a household name in Italy, a strong supporter of the political centre-right and a frequent guest on television chat shows. Politicians have warmly reciprocated his support, and in 2005, the former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi famously handed over a cheque for 10 billion lire (equivalent to ¿1m) to the priest, known as Don Gelmini, on television for the charitable work of his organisation, Comunità Incontro.

Rarely mentioned during his television appearances is the fact that decades ago he was sent to jail for fraud, issuing dud cheques and other offences. And now another scandal appears to be beckoning.

The shadow of accusations of sexual abuse fell across Don Gelmini in the summer when it emerged that he was under investigation for allegedly exploiting some of the charges in his care. It was reported that one of them, Michele Iacobbe, now 34, had first filed a complaint against Don Gelmini in 2002. No action was taken, but he continued to complain about the priest’s misbehaviour, which he said dated back to 1999.

Eight other former wards of the organisation added their voice to his, with great detail. Two of them were minors at the time the alleged abuse happened.

The main Italian newspapers reported yesterday that the preliminary judge in the case was on the verge of committing Don Gelmini for trial on a charge of sexual violence.

When the accusations were first made public, Don Gelmini responded angrily that he was a victim of “the Jewish-radical chic lobby”. The Vatican has advised the priest to give up his role as head of the organisation only if he is sent for trial. But Silvio Berlusconi has again spoken up for him, and Maurizio Gasparri, a member of the right-wing National Alliance party and a minister in Mr Berlusconi’s last government, said the priest’s accusers were “very few and of scant credibility”.

Torturing young people New Labour style in Britain: here.


Six years of Guantánamo Bay camp

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From British daily News Line:

Saturday, 29 December 2007 SIX YEARS OF GUANTANAMO – the detainees speak

On January 11, 2008 it will be six years since the US authorities first transported ‘war on terror’ detainees to the military prison at the naval camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, said Amnesty International yesterday.

‘Half a decade on and not a single detainee has yet been put on trial.

‘The only trials in prospect are unfair military tribunals.

‘Please join us in calling for the closure of Guantánamo Bay.’