Crime & Justice

Australian police receive information on alleged payments in Pell trial

Sydney, Australia, Oct 21 (efe-epa).- Australian Police said Wednesday it had received information provided by the financial crimes control body about alleged transfers of funds from the Vatican during the trial against Cardinal George Pell for various sexual abuse accusations.

“It is a routine matter of financial intelligence exchange between AUSTRAC (the Australian Transaction Analysis and Reporting Center) and the AFP (the Australian Federal Police),” authorities told EFE, who admitted to being “reviewing the relevant information” avoid providing more information about the case.

Police also said they worked on this matter together with the Independent Anti-Corruption Commission of the state of Victoria, where Pell was tried.

According to Italian media, Italian Cardinal Angelo Becciu sent 700,000 euros (more than $830,000) to a bank account in Australia and that this money was linked to help Pell – once the third most important figure in the Vatican – during the Australian’s judicial process.

The lawyers of Becciu, who in September was forced by Pope Francis to resign from his post as prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and the rights of the cardinal, insist on the innocence of their client.

The Italian cardinal is also suspected of embezzlement for sending Vatican funds to his brother’s firm.

Pell was acquitted in April of the accusation of several sexual abuse crimes by the Supreme Court, Australia’s highest court, after spending 13 months in prison.

At the end of September Pell traveled to the Vatican for the first time after the judicial process against him and on Oct. 12 he met with Pope Francis. EFE-EPA


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