Additional charges filed in Vatican finance trial

Two men in black jackets and frilly white shirts listen to another man in a suit

Two of the four judges of the Vatican City State criminal court -- Giuseppe Pignatone and Carlo Bonzano -- listen during the ninth session of the trial of 10 defendants accused of financial crimes, at the Vatican City State criminal court March 1, 2022. Vatican judges rejected defense lawyers' request to dismiss charges after prosecutors said the Vatican lost millions of euros in a controversial property deal that is at the heart of a massive Vatican trial for financial malfeasance. (CNS photo/Simone Risoluti, Vatican Media)

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The Vatican's prosecuting attorney has leveled additional charges against four of the defendants who have been on trial since July 2021 for their alleged roles in the Vatican's failed investment in a property in London.

Alessandro Diddi, the prosecutor, announced the new charges March 30 at the end of the trial's 54th session.

Raffaele Mincione, Gianluigi Torzi and Enrico Crasso were charged with bribery in addition to the original charges that included embezzlement, fraud and money laundering.

A money-laundering charge also was made against Fabrizio Tirabassi, a former official in the Vatican Secretariat of State, who had been accused of corruption, extortion, embezzlement, fraud and abuse of office.

Diddi said the new charges resulted from testimony given at the trial and from new information that arose as the investigations into the 10 defendants continued.

A key issue in the trial is the role the defendants played in convincing the Vatican to invest in the property on London's Sloane Avenue and to accept a structuring of the deal that eventually cost the Vatican more than $200 million.

Also on trial is Cardinal Angelo Becciu, who was substitute secretary of state when the deal was first made. He also has been accused of embezzling Vatican funds and redirecting them to Spes, a Caritas organization run by his brother, Tonino Becciu, in his home Diocese of Ozieri, Sardinia.

Giuseppe Pignatone, president of the Vatican City State court, ruled March 30 that Tonino Becciu and Fr. Mario Curzu, director of the diocesan Caritas, must appear before the court April 19.

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