Let me share with you some of the main points made.
While she strongly wished to not say anything critical about the victims or their Attorney, she points to several factors.Despite the fact that David Lujan has advised his clients not to testify, his clients still have the right to choose to give their testimony. They have the right to waive their right to remain silent even if it goes against the advise of their attorney. However, they chose not to testify. Alexander Chen also has some interesting comments regarding their refusal to testify. According to Chen:
Her final comments, and we quote directly and in full:
- It is a mistake not to participate in the process. Without the evidences provided by the victims, it is possible that the Tribunal will not have enough upon which to base an affirmative decision
- The Tribunal may consider that their refusal to participate reflects negatively on their claim.
- While the thought of appearing in front of the Tribunal, specially without legal counsel, might be intimidating, the victims should be encouraged to try and find an acceptable compromise. For instance, the tribunal might be willing to allow them to respond to questions in writing, as is often done in cases for declarations of nullity of marriage.
- It is also important for everyone to understand that the canonical process is a very different process that the adversarial, common law process of our civil courts. The victims, should they participate, would not be subject to cross examination by the attorney for the defense. The only people allowed to pose questions to the witnesses are the judges. The advocates can propose questions, but it is for the judges to determine if those questions are relevant, should be asked, and then to actually do the interviewing.
"While I do not agree with Cardinal Burke on every matter, I know him to have a true respect of the Law. He would not permit a matter in which he is involved to be manipulated in such a way as to cause harm to one who sought Justice. I also know that his personal sense of integrity is such that he would never countenance the sexual abuse of minor, and would punish such offense, should it be proven, to the full extent of the law. I am confident that he can be trusted in this matter, and I would encourage any victim to try and find a way to assist him in this important matter."
I do not know Atty. Lujan at all, but after watching the video and reading the article... my personal opinion is:
1. Lujan should counsel his clients that they 'must' testify if they are sincerely seeking justice. Their credibility hangs on this. The counsel's advice of not testifying with/without Lujan's being present is sending subtle 'fear' signals of not wanting to be caught lying during cross examination questioning.
2. If they only seek a civil trial and do not care about the Canonical trial, it practically implies, in a subtle way, that they do not 'really' care about what happens to Apuron and that financial compensation is all they are after.
3. Atty, Lujan ought to be less sarcastic or avoid joking when questioned in public. He gives the impression that it is all a joke to him, he appears detached from the seriousness of his clients 'allegations' or does not appreciate/indifferent to the importance of the event that is to have the Canonical Trial team in Guam... He appears to be mocking the Canonical trial.
Lastly Lujan needs to buy a suit and look professional, i.e. again, it reflects an attitude that he doesn't care about his clients or that he doesn't take seriously his job.In a canonical trial, the alleged victims will not be subject to any cross examination. So, there will be no lawyer there trying to trip them up and finding inconsistencies in their stories. They will simply be there to respond to questions given only by the judge, who in this case would be Cardinal Burke. Nevertheless, inconsistencies and self-incrimination can still be discovered even without cross examination. Police officers do it all the time whenever they conduct an investigation of a crime. After all, the purpose of the Vatican investigators is to investigate and discover the truth.