|Author (Person)||Shelley, John|
|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol.7, No.26, 28.6.01, p2|
TWO former employees of a Brussels crèche for the children of EU officials have been cleared of abusing the infants in their care.
Italian Matteo Bini and Spaniard David Altimir had been charged with rape and indecent assault of children at the European Commission's Boulevard Clovis in 1997 but were acquitted of all the charges yesterday (27 June).
The three judges hearing the case in Brussels' Palais de Justice were heavily critical of the psychologists who investigated the supposed sexual abuse.
They had, the judges said, jumped to the conclusion that abuse had taken place before they interviewed the children concerned. The court concluded there was no proof that abuse had taken place at all, by the defendants or otherwise. Concerns about the Clovis crèche were first raised in May 1997, when a doctor found signs suggesting that a child might have suffered sexual abuse. An official investigation was launched in mid-June.
Bini and Altimir, who worked for the Belgian company which ran the nursery for children under five, were suspended later that year. An official announcement that an investigation was under way was not made until October 1997. Following the scandal, the Commission introduced rules requiring staff to inform the parents of alleged victims of any action they take and to notify other parents at the same crèche at an appropriate stage.
But the rules fall short of a commitment to keep all parents fully informed because of the need to protect the identity of children and the presumption of innocence of any staff member accused of wrongdoing.
Two former employees of a Brussels crèche for the children of EU officials have been cleared of abusing the infants in their care.
|Subject Categories||Politics and International Relations|