La Semana

Cardinal sentenced in rare Vatican tribunal


VATICAN CITY -- In a landmark judgment, the Vatican Tribunal sentenced Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu to Kve and a half years in prison and barred him permanentl­y from holding public o-ce, along with an 8,000 euro Kne. This verdict, delivered in the Vatican Museums' hall, is a result of Cardinal Becciu's involvemen­t in a scandal centered around the mishandlin­g of Secretaria­t of State funds, particular­ly concerning a London property deal.

Alongside Cardinal Becciu, several others were implicated and penalized. René Brülhart and Tommaso Di Ruzza, former leaders of the Vatican's Knancial watchdog, were Kned 1,750 euros each. Enrico Craso, a former Knancial advisor, received a seven-year prison term and a 10,000 euro Kne, including a public o-ce ban. Similarly, Knancier Raffaele Mincione and former Secretaria­t employee Fabrizio Tirabassi were given sentences involving prison time, Knes, and public o-ce disqualikc­ations.

Nicola Squillace, a lawyer, received a reduced sentence of one year and ten months due to mitigating circumstan­ces, with a suspended Kve-year sentence. Broker Gianluigi Torzi was sentenced to six years and a 6,000 euro Kne, along with a year under special supervisio­n and a public o-ce ban. Cecilia Marogna, a manager, received three years and nine months in prison and a temporary public o-ce ban, with her company Kned 40,000 euros.

This verdict follows 86 hearings, focusing primarily on the purchase and sale of a property at 60 Sloane Avenue, London. The court found signikcant embezzleme­nt involving sums of US$200 million and US$500,000, paid for high-risk investment­s in a fund linked to Raffaele Mincione. Cardinal Becciu, Mincione, Tirabassi, and Crasso were found guilty of various charges, including embezzleme­nt and self-laundering.

Additional­ly, the court examined the use of the embezzled funds for the Sloane Avenue property and other investment­s. While several defendants were acquitted of some charges, the court convicted others of fraud, extortion, and self-laundering.

The judgment highlighte­d Cardinal Becciu's misuse of funds, including payments for alleged humanitari­an purposes and to a cooperativ­e led by his brother, deemed as embezzleme­nt by the court. Although many defendants were acquitted of certain charges, the defense teams have indicated plans to appeal the decision.

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