Italy fails to charge Vatican officials over electromagnetic pollution
An attempt to charge three Vatican Radio officials, including Cardinal Roberto Tucci, its president, with "polluting Italy's air with electromagnetic waves" foundered on Monday because court officials were unable to serve them with papers notifying them of the hearing.
The Vatican has declined to cooperate with the Italian authorities over the issue, arguing that the forest of giant radio aerials at the heart of the controversy are on Vatican-owned territory and not subject to Italian jurisdiction.
The resulting diplomatic row is threatening to disrupt cooperation between Italy and the Vatican, whose relations are governed by the Lateran Treaty, ratified in 1929 by Benito Mussolini.
Residents near the site of the Vatican antennae at Santa Maria Galeria, in Rome's northern suburbs near Lake Bracciano, claim that there is an unusally high incidence of cancers in the area, including leukaemia, as well as tumours.
A report published on Monday by the regional health authority said the risk of leukaemia in children under 14 was six times higher in the area than in Rome as a whole.