Pope arrest will succeed, argues the lawyer
Plans to have the Pope arrested when he visits the UK will succeed because he is not a head of state, a solicitor has said.
Atheist authors Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens proposed the action against the Pontiff for his handling of child abuse scandals in the Catholic church.
The writers’ solicitor Mark Stephens said applications will be made to courts in the UK and the International Criminal Court for a warrant for Pope Benedict XVI’s arrest.
His likely defence would be be that he is immune from prosecution during his visit to Britain in September, according to the lawyer.
Mr Stephens said: “The courts will examine the claim of immunity. I believe that an English court would reject it. If the Pope was here on a state visit, ordinarily a head of state would have sovereign immunity. What I believe is that because he’s not a sovereign, not a head of state, he’s not entitled to the defence.”
He said that the Vatican was declared to be a state by Benito Mussolini, but this had no standing in international law.
The British Humanist Association is a founding member of the Protest the Pope campaign.
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]Pope arrest will succeed, argues the lawyer,