Vatican court docket hears cardinal’s secretly taped telephone phone with pope

VATICAN Metropolis, Nov 25 — A court docket at a Vatican corruption trial on Thursday heard a secretly recorded phone call amongst the most important defendant, embattled Cardinal Angelo Becciu, and Pope Francis.

The recording was created without having the pope’s information by an individual in a home with Becciu in July 2021, soon before the demo commenced and though the pope was nonetheless recovering from main intestinal surgical procedures, the courtroom was informed.

Reporters have been asked to depart the area although the tape was played but attorneys who heard it mentioned Becciu questioned the pope to validate that the pontiff had authorised a payment to support launch a nun who experienced been kidnapped in Africa.

The legal professionals said that on the call pope appeared perplexed and confused by why Becciu was calling and that the pontiff repeatedly requested the cardinal to deliver him a written take note about what he wished.

In 2018, Becciu, then the third most highly effective individual in the Vatican, employed co-defendant Cecilia Marogna, a self-styled security analyst, to no cost a Columbian nun who was kidnapped in Mali by an al Qaeda-joined team.

Marogna, 44, acquired €575,000 (RM2.68 million) from the Secretariat of Condition, the Vatican’s most vital office, in 2018 to 2019 when Becciu was performing there. The funds was despatched to a business she experienced established up in Slovenia and she received some in funds, the court docket has been explained to.

The police discovered Marogna had expended substantially of the revenue for particular use, such as luxurious manufacturer apparel and visits to health spas.

She is billed with embezzlement and Becciu is charged with embezzlement, corruption, and abuse of place of work. They, like the other eight defendants, have denied all wrongdoing.

The chief prosecutor at the trial, Alessandro Diddi, instructed reporters on Thursday that he experienced started a new tangent of his investigation in which he suspects Becciu of legal conspiracy. He explained he deposited the specifics with the court.

Becciu’s lawyers claimed in a assertion they ended up not mindful of any new accusations. The assertion did not remark on the secretly recorded cellular phone call.

A 12 months right before the demo begun, Francis fired Becciu on suspicion of nepotism. Becciu denies performing everything to help his family fiscally.

On Thursday Becciu confronted his key accuser, his former top rated aide Monsignor Alberto Perlasca. He instructed the courtroom how he was requested to make payments he regarded as uncommon.

He reported he sent €100,000 to a charity in Sardinia, not being aware of at the time that it was joined to Becciu’s household.

Becciu has stated the charity served develop jobs in a very poor location.

The demo revolves all around the buy of a developing in London by the Secretariat of Point out. The 10 defendants include previous Vatican workers and Italian middle adult males who the prosecution states extorted the Vatican. — Reuters