'Drug-pusher' priest to face fast-track trial

45-year-old cleric detained over 'cocaine party' in Milan

(ANSA) - Milan, November 11 - A priest arrested on suspicion of drug possession for dealing after being discovered at a 'cocaine party' in Milan in July is to be judged in a fast-track trial, judicial sources said Tuesday.
    Don Stefano Maria Cavalletti, 45, is set to appear before a preliminary hearings judge on January 29.
    He was detained in July after police were called out to investigate noise and shouting during a party in Piazza Anghilberto in Milan.
    There police found traces of white powder throughout the apartment, with the majority in the lavatory together with the priest's shredded passport.
    Don Stefano, who served in the Piedmont town of Stresa, told police he had started to use cocaine as a form of 'self-treatment' for depression after first running into trouble with the law.
    In September 2013 he was convicted by a court of first instance of fraud against an elderly woman whom he allegedly convinced to pay 22,000 euros into his bank account.
    Under the fast-track process - in which the case is examined by the preliminary hearings judge only on the basis of evidence gathered during the preliminary investigation - should Don Stefano be found guilty he would be automatically entitled to a reduction in sentence of one-third.


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