The Vatican continues with its reform and prosecution of financial crimes detected in members of the Holy See. Therefore, on July 27, Cardinal Angelo Becciu , a former substitute for the Vatican Secretary of State (who the pontiff dismissed last September for several financial scandals ), will be tried along with nine other people for various crimes related to the sale of a building in the heart of London .
In a statement, the Vatican reports that “the president of the Vatican Court has ordered the summons to the trial of the accused in the framework of the matter related to the financial investments of the Secretary of State in London .” It highlights that this judicial initiative is ” directly related to the indications and reforms of His Holiness Pope Francis, in the work of transparency and cleaning up of Vatican finances .”
Becciu must answer to the courts, as provided by the regulations, “for the crimes of embezzlement and abuse of office also in competition, as well as bribery, ” they point out from the Holy See. After an extensive judicial investigation, the legal services of the Vatican consider they have sufficient evidence to accuse those involved of having caused ” considerable losses for Vatican finances, having also used the resources allocated to the personal charity of the Holy Father.”
After hearing his prosecution, the cardinal has declared to be “the victim of an orchestrated plot” against him and has assured that he is looking forward to the trial so that “the court can see the absolute falsehood of the accusations.”
“In these long months everything has been invented about me, exposing me to an unparalleled media pillory to which I have not lent myself, suffering in silence, even for the respect and tutelage of the church, to which I have dedicated all my life. Only by considering this great injustice as a test of faith can I find the strength to fight this battle of truth, “he added in a statement.
The note admits that all the defendants are members “of the ecclesiastical and lay staff of the Secretary of State and figures of the then Financial Information Authority, as well as external figures, active in the world of international finance.”
In addition to Cardinal Becciu, René Brulhart, Mauro Carlino, Enrico Crasso, Tommasi Di Ruzza, Cecilia Marogna, Raffaele Mincione, Nicola Squillace, Fabrizio Tirabassi and Gianluigi Torzi have been charged , as well as the companies HP Finance LLC, Logsic Humanitarne Dejavnosti, DOO, Prestige Family Office SA and Sogenel Capital Investmen.
The investigations, which began in July 2019 following a complaint from the Institute for Works of Religion and the Office of the Auditor General , have counted on the collaboration of the Rome Prosecutor’s Office and the Economic-Financial Police Nucleus of the Finance Guard Romana, as well as the Milan, Bari, Trento, Cagliari and Sassari prosecutors and their Judicial Police sections.
For the investigation of the case, letters rogatory were issued in the United Arab Emirates, Great Britain, Jersey, Luxembourg, Slovenia and Switzerland. Among the crimes they are charged with include abuse of office, bribery, extortion, embezzlement, corruption, money laundering, fraud, abuse, falsification of public documents committed by individuals and falsification of private deeds.