US lawyers questioned Mexico's senior Roman Catholic cleric over suspicions he helped protect a fellow priest accused of sexually abusing a child, a victims' lobbying group said on Wednesday.
Cardinal Norberto Rivera was quizzed at the seat of the archdiocese in Mexico City by representatives from the Los Angeles high court, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests spokesman Erick Barragan told reporters.
Rivera is suspected of having protected Nicolas Aguilar, a fellow Mexican priest accused of raping an altar boy in Mexico 1994, by helping him flee to California.
Rivera has already provided a written statement in the affair. Wednesday's meeting was the first time a Mexican priest had been interviewed by US authorities in a child sex abuse case.
Revelations of sex abuse by priests have rocked the Catholic church in the United States. It has made large pay-outs to victims, including a record 660 million dollars of damages to 500 people in July in Los Angeles.
The victim, who is now grown up, was also compensated separately from the record settlement in July, but the case he lodged against Rivera in California continues.
Archdiocese spokesman Hugo Valdemar told reporters Wednesday that the interview aimed to establish whether Rivera could be sued by the victim in a California court, even though the alleged crime took place in Mexico.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Ağustos 2007, 12:58