Chilean police seize files on abuse case

April 20, 2011 at 3:15 PM

SANTIAGO, Chile, April 20 (UPI) -- Chilean police raided the home and office of a lawyer representing a priest found guilty by the Vatican of sexually molesting boys, officials said.

Officials seized files from Juan Pablo Bulnes after the Vatican refused to turn over documents on the abuse case of the Rev. Fernando Karadima, La Nacion reported.

Karadima was found guilty of sexual abuse by the Vatican, which ordered the priest to retire to a "life of prayer and penitence."

The Archdiocese of Santiago and the Vatican refused to turn over files, claiming to be a sovereign state not subject to Chilean law.

Karadima was one of Chile's most respected and influential priests for his work among the most elite Catholics.

It was during these training sessions that four men accused the 80-year-old priest of sexual abuse.

Bulnes said the action taken by authorities was an "abuse" of his right to lawyer-client confidentiality.

Karadima has appealed the Vatican's decision.

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