May 27, 2024

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Vatican Indicts Cardinal, Nine Other People Over London Real-Estate Deal

ROME—The Vatican claimed it indicted Cardinal Giovanni Becciu and 9 other individuals in connection with a expensive financial investment in London genuine estate, the supply of 1 the most important scandals of Pope Francis’s reign.

Cardinal Becciu, who was the next optimum official at the Vatican’s Secretariat of Point out when it obtained the residence, was indicted on fees of embezzlement, abuse of office environment and subornation. His trial will be the initially of a churchman with his rank in Vatican City’s prison court docket.

Pope Francis requested an investigation in 2019 just after the Vatican financial institution flagged as suspicious a request by the Secretariat of Point out for a €150-million personal loan to refinance the acquisition charges of a making in London’s upscale Chelsea district.

By way of a collection of complex transactions, the secretariat experienced compensated the equivalent of far more than $four hundred million by 2018 for the residence, which experienced offered for 50 percent that amount 6 many years before, Vatican prosecutors instructed a London court docket very last calendar year. The Vatican was looking for the extradition of a middleman, Gianluigi Torzi, accused of extortion, embezzlement, fraud and cash laundering.

In September of very last calendar year, Cardinal Becciu renounced his Vatican article and the legal rights of a cardinal, nevertheless not his title, at the request of Pope Francis. The Vatican did not give a reason for the move at that time.