A corruption trial involving the Vatican resumed today with defence lawyers accusing prosecutors of withholding evidence.
The trial, which began last July, is the culmination of a two-year investigation and revolves mostly around the purchase by the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, led by Cardinal Becciu, of a €350m property in Chelsea with church money.
Cardinal Angelo Becciu has denied any wrongdoing and said he was the victim of a plot. He is suspected of embezzlement and abuse of office. There are 10 people total indicted in the case.
The cardinal was in charge of all the church’s donations and stands accused of using some of these donations to make risky financial investments, including the Chelsea property.
The idea was to convert the building into flats.
At a hearing last October, the court ordered prosecutors to provide their evidence to the accused and their lawyers, including audiovisual material and other evidence prosecutors obtained by intercepting communications the accused engaged in with other people involved in the trial.
This comes after Pope Francis started a campaign to clean up the Church’s finances that have been affected by years of scandals.