A Vatican judge on Saturday indicted 10 people, including a once-powerful cardinal, on charges including embezzlement, abuse of office, extortion and fraud in connection with the Secretariat of State’s 350 million-euro investment in a London real estate venture.
Through a series of complex transactions, the secretariat had paid the equivalent of more than $400 million by 2018 for the property, which had sold for half that amount six years earlier, Vatican prosecutors told a London court last year. The Vatican was seeking the extradition of a middleman, Gianluigi Torzi, accused of extortion, embezzlement, fraud and money laundering.
In September of last year, Cardinal Becciu renounced his Vatican post and the rights of a cardinal, though not his title, at the request of Pope Francis. The Vatican didn’t give a reason for the move at that time. Vatican prosecutors accuse the main suspects of bilking millions of euros from the Holy See in fees and other losses related to other financial dealings. The suspects have denied wrongdoing.
The indictments followed a two year investigation of the Secretariat of State’s asset portfolio, which is funded by donations from the faithful. The scandal caused a significant cut in donations. Pope Francis also removed the office’s power to manage money. The trial date has been set for July 27, the Independent reported.
ARTICLE: JENNIFER BARRETO-LEYVA
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: WALL STREET JOURNAL
Latest posts by Carson Choate (see all)
- Former US senator Barbara Boxer allegedly assaulted, robbed in Oakland - July 29, 2021
- Former congresswoman and Iowa democrat Abby Finkenauer seeking GOP senator Grassley’s seat - July 25, 2021
- Senate Democrats propose a rewrite to current draft laws, requiring women to register for the draft - July 24, 2021