Vatican City, Jul 27 (EFE).- The first hearing of a historic trial begins Tuesday in the Vatican with 10 defendants among which is a cardinal, the former prefect of the congregation for the Causes of the Saints Angelo Becciu, accused of embezzlement, money laundering, fraud and abuse of office.
Among the other defendants are religious and non-religious Vatican officials and international finance specialists, along with four companies, who will appear in court to shed light over alleged fraud and embezzlement crimes related to a 350 million euro ($420m) investment in a London real estate venture.
The alleged crimes date back to 2013, when the Secretariat of State bought a building in London with funds from Peter’s Pence, an institution that collects capital through donations meant to support charity activities.
Becciu was responsible for these operations, at the time serving as Substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State (2011-2018).
He was named prefect of the congregation for the Causes of the Saints in May 2018 by Pope Francis.
Although Becciu retains the title of cardinal, he was asked to resign the rights associated with it by the pope due to the scandal, meaning he won’t be allowed to participate in a future papal conclave. EFE