The announcement that 10 individuals will face charges for a range of financial crimes marks the end of a two year investigation by Vatican prosecutors. But the trial, which includes several prominent Vatican figures, is likely to mark the beginning of a new phase in the financial scandal, and could yet lead to more revelations, new accusations, and more figures brought to trial.
The Holy See press office announced July 3 the prosecution of several individuals following a sprawling investigation which began with a complaint lodged against the Secretariat of State’s now famous London property deal.
The list of those set to face charges in court has drawn international attention, both for the high profile individuals it includes, as well as those it does not. With a potentially lengthy trial set to begin on July 27, many of those set to appear in court have insisted that they will prove their innocence.
As they make their defenses, the indicted figures may provide new details of the Secretariat of State’s byzantine financial affairs, and could implicate more people in the transactions now deemed explicitly criminal by Vatican authorities.
Becciu and Marogna
Most prominent among those indicted is Cardinal Angelo Becciu, the former sostituto at the secretariat who, for years, acted as de facto papal chief of staff. His indictment marks the highest-ranking former Vatican figure known to be indicted for financial crimes; during the investigation he was forced to resign from his Vatican offices and from most of the privileges associated with being a cardinal.
Becciu, together with Msgr. Mauro Carlino, another former official at the Secretariat of State, is one of only two clerics to be charged thus far.
The cardinal stands accused of funneling Church funds to organisations linked to members of his family, embezzlement, and abusing his office.
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