MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, April 23rd 2024 - 07:17 UTC

 

 

Vatican corruption: Pope's ex chief of staff, Cardinal Becciu sentenced to jail for embezzlement

Sunday, December 17th 2023 - 16:26 UTC
Full article
Cardinal Angelo Becciu was sentenced to five and half years in prison, a permanent disqualification from holding public office, and a fine equal to US$ 8,000. Cardinal Angelo Becciu was sentenced to five and half years in prison, a permanent disqualification from holding public office, and a fine equal to US$ 8,000.

Cardinal Angelo Becciu, the pope's former chief of staff was found guilty of several counts of embezzlement and was sentenced to more than five years in jail. He is the highest-ranking Vatican official to face a trial in the Vatican's criminal court.

The Vatican court’s president, Giuseppe Pignatone, read aloud the verdict on Saturday in the culmination of the nearly two-and-a-half-year-long saga of the Vatican’s “Trial of the Century,” which sat for 86 sessions. Becciu’s lawyer, Fabio Viglione, anticipated that the cardinal “will certainly appeal” the ruling.

Becciu was sentenced to five and half years in prison, a permanent disqualification from holding public office, and a fine equal to more than US$ 8,000.

Five other defendants were also sentenced to jail time, including Fabrizio Tirabassi, a former Vatican employee who was convicted of extortion and a money-laundering charge, and Enrico Crasso, a financial consultant for the Vatican found guilty on several charges including embezzlement. Tirabassi was given seven and a half years in prison and Crasso seven years.

Italian businessman Gianluigi Torzi, who brokered the final stage of the London property at the center of the Vatican trial, was found guilty of extortion and received a six-year sentence. Raffaele Mincione, the investment manager who owned the property, was convicted of embezzlement and money laundering and given five years and six months.

Cecilia Marogna, a Sardinian woman who was employed by Becciu as a security consultant, was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison.

In addition to finding Becciu guilty of embezzlement of funds from the Vatican property deal in London, judges in the Vatican trial also convicted the cardinal for using Vatican money to pay Marogna and of embezzlement for sending 125,000 euros of Vatican money to a charity run by his brother in Sardinia.

Monsignor Mauro Carlino, a former official in the Vatican Secretariat of State, was acquitted in the trial. The court also acquitted the other suspects of many charges, including fraud, corruption, and money laundering.

Two other defendants, René Brülhart and Tommaso Di Ruzza, were convicted of failing to report a suspicious transaction and received fines of less than US$ 2,000. Italian lawyer Nicola Squillace received a suspended sentence of one year and 10 months. 

In total, the three-judge tribunal ordered the confiscation of the equivalent of more than US$180 million from the defendants and payment of more than US$ 200 million of civil damages to Vatican offices.

The historic trial centered on what happened in and around the Secretariat of State’s 350 million-Euro purchase of an investment property in London between 2014 and 2018.

The Vatican maintained that the deal was problematic and designed to defraud the Secretariat of State, the powerful curial department at the center of the investigation of financial malfeasance, of millions of Euros.

The defendants in the trial were adamant that their actions were above board and that Vatican authorities were in the know.

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!