Vatican charges 10 people, including cardinal, over international financial scandal
The investigation, which began in July 2019, was carried out by the Vatican in cooperation with Italian authorities and revealed “a vast network of links between financial market operators which generated substantial losses to Vatican finances” , a Vatican statement said on Saturday. .
Becciu, who once held a position of power in the Vatican’s secretariat of state, said in a statement on Saturday that he was the victim of a “conspiracy” against him and claimed his innocence. Vatican laws require the Pope to approve any investigation and indictment of a cardinal.
Becciu, 73, was created a cardinal by Pope Francis in 2018 and was appointed head of the office that oversees the canonizations of saints. From 2011, he served as a “substitute” for the Vatican Secretariat of State, a powerful post similar to that of Chief of Staff.
The alleged illegal activities uncovered by the investigation relate to investments using charity money in “high-risk financial activity” for personal gain, which includes an investment in the fossil fuel industry in Angola, which could be ‘rise to over 200 million, according to a detailed Vatican News report.
The investigation also reportedly revealed wrongdoing surrounding the buying and selling of “grossly overrated” property in London, in which the defendant was allegedly complicit in forgery and extortion, among other crimes, Vatican News said on Saturday.
Saturday’s indictment also targets René Brulhart, former chairman of the Vatican’s Financial Reporting Authority, and Tommaso di Ruzza, its former director, as well as four companies from the United States, Slovenia and Switzerland. .
Brulhart called the indictment a “procedural error” and added that he had always carried out his duties “with fairness, loyalty and in the exclusive interest of the Holy See,” he said. he said in a statement.
The trial will begin on July 27.