German bishop charged with giving false testimony
CWN - October 10, 2013
A German bishop who has been under fire for heavy spending now could face prosecution for allegedly giving false testimony.
Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg, whose spending on a new residence and diocesan offices caused public outrage and sparked a Vatican investigation, has been charged with filing false affidavits in a legal dispute with Der Spiegel. After the magazine reported that the bishop had taken a first-class flight to India, Bishop Tebartz-van Elst reportedly claimed that he had flown business class. The bishop later denied making that claim. Der Spiegel says that the bishop’s statement was captured on tape. German prosecutors have asked a court to fine the bishop for giving false testimony.
Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst has defended his spending on the building projects for the diocese, pointing out that several different projects are involved. The Vatican inquiry, after examining records of diocesan spending, cleared the bishop of wrongdoing.
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