Cardinal Angelo Besio, who was the center of a corruption trial against the Vatican, asked the Vatican police in 2020 not to disclose evidence that a woman working for him had embezzled funds for her personal use. A police officer said in court on Thursday that the money was a ransom for a kidnapped nun.
Commissioner Stefano de Santis, who specializes in financial crimes, had to testify against Cardinal Angelo Piccio for the second day in a row. Becciu was among the three most influential people in the Vatican, but now he is one of the Ten defendants stand trial for corruption and other financial crimes. The ten deny any wrongdoing.
Today De Santis explained how Becciu became a security analyst in 2018 Cecilia Marugna The release of a Colombian nun who had been kidnapped in Mali by a group linked to al-Qaeda.
In 2018-2019, during the time Becciu was working, Marogna, 43, received 575,000 euros from the Secretariat of the Holy See, the main department within the Vatican. Then the money was transferred to a company I created in Slovenia.
Police found that Marujna took a lot of money for personal use, including luxury clothing and spa visits.
When De Santis and the Vatican police chief visited Becciu in his apartment on October 3, 2020, to inform him of their discovery, the cardinal asked the police to keep the matter a secret, as it harmed him and his family, the commissioner testified on Thursday.
Pique disputed this account in court, saying that it was the police who told him that the meeting should be kept secret because any leak about Marujna’s activities might jeopardize her mission to free the nun, and that the meeting was confidential. De Santis said.
Becciu denies wrongdoing and denies rumors in the Italian media about an inappropriate relationship with Marogna.
The trial, which began in July 2021, relates to alleged financial crimes related to the 2014 purchase of a luxury building in London by the Secretariat of the Holy See. The Vatican sold the building this year for an estimated loss of 140 million euros.
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