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German archdiocese raided in sex abuse investigation

Berlin, Jun 27 (Prensa Latina) German prosecutors today raided the archdiocese of the German state of Cologne in the midst of an investigation against Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, accused of perjury in connection with sex abuse scandals.

About 30 police officers searched six locations, including Woelki’s residence and a computer center in charge of the church’s e-mail, the judicial body said in a statement.

The target was documents written at the archdiocese related to the accusations of perjury and false statements under oath, the prosecutor’s office said.

The measures proceeded without incident and received cooperation at the places we searched, the text circulated here indicated.

The Cologne prosecutor’s office announced in May that it was investigating Woelki on suspicion of perjury based on a criminal complaint; for his part, Woelki said he was unaware of the allegations of sexual abuse against a priest of his diocese.

Under German law, perjury carries a jail sentence of six months to 15 years.