Msgr. Alberto Perlasca, Becciu’s former chief deputy at the Secretariat of State, was also investigated as part of the London property scandal, but is not among the defendants in this summer’s trial.
Vatican prosecutors identified Perlasca’s testimony, provided over the course of several interviews, as being important for reconstructing “some central moments” in the affair. But at Tuesday’s hearing, a defense lawyer argued that Perlasca’s testimony from five interviews, in which he had no lawyer present, should be considered “inadmissible.”
A Vatican prosecutor argued that the depositions were legitimate because they were videotaped and “voluntary.”
Becciu said in a statement he will be suing Perlasca and Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, another person questioned by investigators, “for slander for the very serious and completely false statements made during the investigations to the Promoter of Justice.”
The cardinal told journalists in the courtroom at the end of the hearing that he is “obedient to the pope who sent me to trial, I have always been obedient to the pope, he entrusted me with many missions in my life, he wanted me to come to trial and I am coming to the trial. I am calm, I feel calm in conscience, I have the confidence that the judges will be able to see the facts well and my great hope is the certainty that they recognize my innocence.”
Other defendants in the finance trial include several employees of the Secretariat of State: Fabrizio Tirabassi, who oversaw investments, will be tried on charges of corruption, extortion, embezzlement, fraud, and abuse of office.
Mincione has been charged with embezzlement, fraud, abuse of office, misappropriation, and self-money laundering.
Torzi, who was brought in to broker the final negotiations of the Vatican’s purchase of the London property in 2018, has been charged with extortion, embezzlement, fraud, misappropriation, money laundering, and self-money laundering.
His associate, the lawyer Nicola Squillace, faces the same charges minus extortion.
Enrico Crasso, who managed investments for the Vatican for over 25 years, was investigated on suspicions he was working together with Mincione and Tirabassi to defraud the Secretariat of State.
Crasso, who is the manager of the Centurion Global Fund in which the Holy See is the principal investor, faces the most charges: corruption, embezzlement, extortion, money laundering, self-money laundering, fraud, abuse of office, falsifying a public document, and falsifying a private document.
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The Vatican has also charged three corporations owned by Crasso with fraud.
Cecilia Marogna, a self-described security consultant, is accused of embezzlement after a Vatican investigation into reports that she received hundreds of thousands of euros from the Vatican’s Secretariat of State in connection with Becciu, and that she had spent the money on luxury goods and vacations.
Marogna acknowledged receiving the money but insisted that the funds went to her Vatican security consultancy work and salary.
Marogna’s Slovenian-based company, Logsic Humanitarne Dejavnosti, D.O.O., is also being brought to trial on the charge of embezzlement.
The last two defendants are René Brülhart and Tommaso Di Ruzza, who previously led the Vatican’s internal financial watchdog.
Di Ruzza is charged with embezzlement, abuse of office, and violation of confidentiality.
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