“Ecclesiastical proceedings continue”

Symbol image files © Harald Oppitz (KNA)

The public prosecutor's case against the suspended Dusseldorf city dean was dropped. He was under investigation for sexual harassment. The Archdiocese of Cologne announced that the internal church procedure continues unaffected by this.

The Dusseldorf public prosecutor's office has dropped its investigation against suspended city dean Ulrich Hennes for sexual harassment. There is "now no longer an open investigation," authority spokeswoman Britta Zur told the "Kolner Stadt-Anzeiger" (Saturday), after already confirming the closure of another case on Wednesday. In addition, at the beginning of May, a first procedure had been discontinued "for lack of evidence of the crime".

The allegations had been received after the Archdiocese of Cologne had forwarded an alleged case from 2012/2013 to the public prosecutor's office in March and made this public.

As announced from judicial circles, all allegations had since proven to be incriminating.

"Internal church process continues"

According to spokesman Christoph Heckeley, the Archdiocese of Cologne has not yet received any notification from the public prosecutor's office. "Regardless of the outcome of the criminal investigation, the following applies to us: the internal church proceedings continue," Heckeley told the newspaper.

Therefore, there is no fundamentally new situation. The archdiocese had suspended Hennes from all ecclesiastical posts in mid-March as a result of the initial proceedings and announced the opening of an ecclesiastical trial against the city dean, who had been in office since October 2015.

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