Cardinal Convicted in Enviromental Case

At first I thought this was from the Onion.

A Rome court convicted a Vatican cardinal and a top Vatican Radio official Monday of polluting the environment with electromagnetic waves from a transmission tower, an official from Vatican Radio said.

Cardinal Roberto Tucci, former head of Vatican Radio’s management committee, and the Rev. Pasquale Borgomeo, the station’s director general, were sentenced to 10 days in jail, said the Rev. Federico Lombardi, the station’s program director.

Lombardi said the defense would appeal.

Prosecutors had alleged that the officials violated Italy’s strict standards on electromagnetic emissions, charging that transmitting equipment in the Rome suburb of Cesano damaged the health of those living nearby.

The exact charge was “dangerous launching of objects” — referring to the electromagnetic waves reaching the town. Cesano residents applauded the prosecutors as they left the courtroom. The prosecutors made no immediate comment.

“It is a great success and a great victory, for those people who have been suffering for years,” said Lorenzo Parlati, head of the environment group Legambiente for the Lazio region, which was part of the civil suit.

More here, with a mention of the money angle.

He vowed to appeal, saying emissions were within international limits and “in line with accords between Italy and the Vatican”.

The judge said the level of damages payable by the defendants would be set by a civil arbitration body. It could run into many millions of euros.


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