Enquiry into Belgian journalist's Rome death "shelved"
ROME — Italian magistrates have shelved criminal proceedings in connection with the death of respected Belgian foreign correspondent Federic Hacourt at the Fate BeneFratelli hospital on Rome’s island on the Tiber, judicial sources say.
The hospital said last year it had opened an internal inquiry after a doctor in charge of treating Hacourt at the hospital, g.b., was denounced last autumn for allegedly failing to assist his patient when he was dying at the hospital on a Sunday and the physician declined to leave his home. However magistrates who opened a criminal inquiry into the case decided to shelve or "place in the archive" the probe, meaning they did not find grounds to go ahead with indictment of the physician, said the sources.
The results of the internal investigation by the hospital still were not immediately known. Previously the hospital said it could not diclose the conclusions due to the judicial inquiry other way.
M. Hacourt, 58, the Rome correspondent for more than 20 years for La Libre Belgique newspaper, suffered a severe hemorrhage Sunday Nov. 14. The specialist doctor officially on duty at the hospital on Sunday was "working from home" and allegedly refused to come back to the hospital to attend to his patient in person, relatives and hospital sources said. M. Hacourt died 12 hours after the emergency began.
M. Hacourt was a popular member of the Rome Foreign Press association and the author of an investigative book on the dark side of Vatican finances.