Pope Benedict XVI has been accused of “crimes against humanity” by two groups representing sex abuse victims in a complaint filed at theÂ International Criminal Court at The Hague.Â The Pope, along with other top Â Vatican officials, “tolerate and enable the systematic and widespread concealing of rape and child sex crimes throughout the world,” according to a statement filed by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), a New York City-based organization.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told CNN he was aware of the filing but had no comment.
The International Criminal Court did not immediately respond to a CNN question about whether it believed it had jurisdiction to prosecute the pope.
But Barbara Dorris, the president of SNAP, said it was the natural venue for the case.
“We are convinced this is the proper jurisdiction,” she told CNN. “Who else can investigate violent crimes of a global magnitude? The ICC was created to deal with widespread systematic violent crimes against humanity.”
The executive director of the International Bar Association, on the other hand, said it was unlikely the international court would find there was evidence of crimes against humanity.
London-based The Telegraph adds,
The complaint namesÂ Pope Benedict XVI, partly in his former role as leader of theÂ Vatican’sÂ Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which in 2001 explicitly gained responsibility for overseeing abuse cases; Cardinal William Levada, who now leads that office; Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican secretary of state under Pope John Paul II; and Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who now holds that post.
Lawyers for the victims say rape, sexual violence and torture are considered a crime against humanity as described in the international treaty that spells out the court’s mandate. The complaint also accuses Vatican officials of creating policies that perpetuated the damage, constituting an attack against a civilian population.
“We have tried everything we could think of to get them to stop and they won’t,” she said. “If the Pope wanted to, he could take dramatic action at any time that would help protect children today and in the future, and he refuses to take the action.”
The odds against the court opening an investigation are enormous. The prosecutor has received nearly 9,000 independent proposals for inquiries since 2002, when the court was created as the world’s only permanent war crimes tribunal, and has never opened a formal investigation based solely on such a request.
Instead, prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has investigated crimes such as genocide, murder, rape and conscripting child soldiers in conflicts from Darfur to this year’s violence in Libya. Such cases have been referred to the court by the countries where the atrocities were perpetrated or by the UN Security Council.
Also, the Holy See is not a member state of the court, meaning prosecutors have no automatic jurisdiction there, although the complaint covers alleged abuse in countries around the world, many of which do recognise the court’s jurisdiction.
This is not the first time the 84-year old Roman Catholic leader has been accused ofÂ “crimes against humanity” in a complaint filed at The Hague. In February of this year,Â The New Civil Rights MovementÂ reported,
Pope BenedictÂ XVIÂ is facing charges of crimes against humanityÂ in the International Criminal Court for â€œthe preservation and leadership of aÂ worldwide totalitarian rÃ©gime of coercion which subjugates its members with terrifying and health-â€‹endangering threats,â€ andÂ for his part in the Vaticanâ€™s pedophile priests molestation and rape scandals, and the Vaticanâ€™s â€œadherence to aÂ fatal forbiddance of the use of condoms, even when the danger of HIV-â€‹Aids infection exists.”
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Bombshell WSJ Report: Trump Pressured DOJ Attorneys to Sue States in the Supreme Court to Overturn Election
President Donald Trump pressured U.S. Department of Justice attorneys, possibly including former Attorney General Bill Barr, to file a lawsuit against four U.S. states in the U.S. Supreme Court, in one of his final attempts to overturn the election before leaving office.
The Wall Street Journal reports late Saturday night that effort “failed due to pushback from his own appointees in the Justice Department, who refused to file what they viewed as a legally baseless lawsuit in the Supreme Court.”
The Journal also confirms Friday night’s New York Times reporting that Trump attempted to remove his own acting Attorney General, Jeffrey Rosen, after Barr left the DOJ just two days before Christmas.
According to the Journal, “senior department officials threatened to resign en masse should Mr. Trump fire then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, according to several people familiar with the discussions.”
“Senior department officials, including Mr. Rosen, former Attorney General William Barr and former acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall refused to file the Supreme Court case, concluding that there was no basis to challenge the election outcome and that the federal government had no legal interest in whether Mr. Trump or Mr. Biden won the presidency,” the paper adds.
The paper does not specify the exact timeframe of when Trump tried to force DOJ to file the lawsuit, but based on its report it had to have been after December 11, when the Supreme Court dismissed what most election law attorneys considered a frivolous suit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, along with other Republican state attorneys general.
This is a breaking news and developing story.
GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy Says “Everyone” Is to Blame for Capitol Riots
While Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California has previously said that he thinks former President Donald Trump bears some responsibility for the January 6 coup attempt in which his supporters ransacked the Capitol to overturn the election that he and Republicans baselessly claimed was stolen, McCarthy added in a Thursday interview, “I also think everybody across this country has some responsibility [for the coup attempt.]”
McCarthy then said that anti-Trump Democrats, rude social media users, unprepared law enforcement authorities were all responsible too, even though Trump literally told his followers on the morning of January 6 to march to the Capitol and fight to stop legislators from approving the election victory of now-President Joe Biden.
“I think this is what we have to get to the bottom of, and when you start talking about who has responsibilities,” McCarthy said. “I think there’s going to be a lot more questions, a lot more answers we have to have in the coming future.”
It’s especially telling that his Senate counterpart, now-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has directly blamed Trump for the riots.
“The mob was fed lies,” McConnell said Wednesday. “They were provoked by the president and other powerful people, and they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like.”
After months of making baseless claims that a national conspiracy of widespread voter fraud stole the election from him, a claim laughed out of courts 60 times over for lack of evidence by judges that Trump himself appointed, Trump held a “Stop the Steal” rally on the morning of January 6 in which he said, that he won the election “by a landslide” and encouraged his followers to “stop the steal” by going to the Capitol. If people don’t “fight like hell,” Trump said, “you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
Russia Explodes with Protests Against Putin Poisoning and Jailing His Biggest Opponent
Russian citizens in 38 cities are protesting the country’s sham elections in which Russian President Vladimir Putin has felt so threatened by the opposition candidate, anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny, that he has had him imprisoned and poisoned in an attempt to silence his voice and kill his movement.
The Russian presidential elections are a complete sham used to legitimate Putin’s power. In the last election, Putin “won” nearly 77 percent of the vote amid claims of ballot stuffing, the Kremlin choosing which candidates get to run, police arresting any anti-Putin protesters and pro-Putin candidates receiving far more financial backing than his opponents.
Navalny himself, a popular anti-corruption campaigner who is one of Putin’s most outspoken critics, according to The Week, has previously been barred from running due to a trumped-up and controversial fraud conviction allegedly masterminded by Putin. In August 2020, Navalny was poisoned with a nerve agent called Novichok and survived his hospitalization. Navalny has said he got a Russian federal agent to reveal how he was poisoned, though the Kremlin has denied any involvement.
Three days ago, Navalny was jailed once more for allegedly violating his parole. He now inhabits Matrosskaya Tishina or Sailor’s Silence, a jail in Moscow’s north-east region that has housed high-ranking prisoners that authorities have wanted to cut off from the outside world since the Soviet era, according to Reuters. The jail is notoriously deadly.
Russian citizens across the nation have seemingly had enough and have begun protesting his imprisonment, as the videos below attest. Hundreds have been arrested as police fight to maintain control.
The U.S. Embassy in Russia has weighed in by saying, “We’re watching reports of protests in 38 Russian cities, arrests of 350+ peaceful protesters and journalists. The U.S. supports the right of all people to peaceful protest, freedom of expression. Steps being taken by Russian authorities are suppressing those rights.”
Putin can’t rob the Russian people of hundreds of billions of dollars over twenty years and expect to get away with it. This is the reaction of the Russian people, chanting “Putin vor” which means “Putin thief”. It’s happening all over Russia right now. https://t.co/UhVSdWVeBX
— Bill Browder (@Billbrowder) January 23, 2021
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) January 23, 2021
Сейчас в центре Петербурга pic.twitter.com/F0piyWGyRZ
— Дождь (@tvrain) January 23, 2021
Images from Russia today are transfixing: thousands all across the country defying authorities and protesting for @navalny’s release. So brave.
— Susan Glasser (@sbg1) January 23, 2021
I’m just hoping against all hope this guy somehow independently came up with this outfit. https://t.co/VBKuZxhOHq
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) January 23, 2021
US embassy in Russia weighs in. https://t.co/99OJgKSXS1
— Bianna Golodryga (@biannagolodryga) January 23, 2021
Protests are taking place across Russia today, calling for Navalny’s release.
This is Vladivostok, in the country’s Far East pic.twitter.com/luO4oudeH9
— Matthew Luxmoore (@mjluxmoore) January 23, 2021
— Kevin Rothrock (@KevinRothrock) January 23, 2021
— Jake Rudnitsky (@Rudnit) January 23, 2021
BREAKING: Clashes between riot police and Alexei Navalny supporters / protestors in Yekaterinburg, Russia. – #Protests
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) January 23, 2021
— Global News (@GlbBreakNews) January 23, 2021
Иркутск: «Мы не уйдём!» pic.twitter.com/9HIsGgXAcp
— Борис Золотаревский (@ZolotorevskiyB) January 23, 2021
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