Vatican: Abuse of office, money laundering, fraud and embezzlement proceedings

Rome –

The trial over the loss-making real estate deal in London is set to begin before a Vatican court at the end of the month.

Court officials had summoned high-ranking staff in the church and at the offices of the State Secretariat as well as the Vatican Financial Information Authority and people from the international financial world, the Holy See announced on Saturday. The charges against more than a dozen people and companies range from abuse of office, money laundering, fraud and embezzlement to corruption, as can be seen from the list of people called for a hearing on July 27.

International investigation, partly against alleged repeat offenders

The Vatican said the suspects partly denied the allegations. Facts also emerged during the investigation against Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Bacchiu, who is to answer for embezzlement and abuse of office. Pope Francis sacked the 73-year-old from his office in late September last year following suspicions of financial irregularities.

Several Vatican and Italian officials have been investigating the matter since July 2019. The studies extended internationally to the United Arab Emirates, Great Britain, Jersey, Luxembourg, Slovenia and Switzerland. According to the Holy See, the move follows Pope Francis’ reforms on transparency in Vatican finances.

In 2019, a failed luxury property deal in London made big headlines. The trade at that time caused heavy losses to the Catholic Papal States. It is also said that money has been withdrawn from Petersfennig, the annual worldwide collection for the Vatican. (dpa)

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