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Radio Vaticana Acquittal Annulled

The Italian Court of Cassation has overturned last year's acquittal of Radio Vaticana staffers in an "electro-smog" pollution case that began in 2001.

Eleven months ago, Radio Vaticana officials thought the years-old “electro-smog” criminal case had come to an end when an appeals court overturned a lower court judgment against the broadcaster.

However, last week, the Court of Cassation annulled that acquittal, ordering a new appeals trial for Cardinal Roberto Tucci, the former president of the Radio Vaticana management committee, and Father Pasquale Borgomeo, the former director general of the station.

The initial conviction came in 2005, following an inquiry launched in 2001 into claims by local residents that cases of leukemia in the Cesano area north of Rome, near the Radio Vaticana transmission site, were related to electromagnetic emissions. No conclusive link between the transmission site and cases of leukemia in the Cesano area were found in the inquiry, although officials did find magnetic fields higher than the permitted 6 V/m² in 11 of 14 sites checked.

According to The Associated Press, it is not known when a new appeals trial will take place, as the court must first publish its reasoning for the decision.

A statement from Radio Vaticana carried by Rome’s Metro newspaper called the accusations “unjust” and expressed “regret” for the decision of the Court of Cassation. The broadcaster pledged to defend its former staffers in a new appeal.

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