Vatican Indicts Cardinal, Nine Other People Over London Real-Estate Deal

ROME—The Vatican mentioned it indicted Cardinal Giovanni Becciu and 9 other individuals in link with a costly investment decision in London actual estate, the resource of one particular the largest scandals of Pope Francis’s reign.

Cardinal Becciu, who was the 2nd highest official at the Vatican’s Secretariat of Point out when it obtained the home, was indicted on rates of embezzlement, abuse of office environment and subornation. His trial will be the 1st of a churchman with his rank in Vatican City’s criminal court.

Pope Francis purchased an investigation in 2019 following the Vatican lender flagged as suspicious a ask for by the Secretariat of Point out for a €150-million personal loan to refinance the acquisition expenses of a building in London’s upscale Chelsea district.

Via a sequence of complicated transactions, the secretariat had paid out the equal of extra than $four hundred million by 2018 for the home, which had sold for half that sum 6 many years earlier, Vatican prosecutors advised a London court very last 12 months. The Vatican was trying to find the extradition of a intermediary, Gianluigi Torzi, accused of extortion, embezzlement, fraud and revenue laundering.

In September of very last 12 months, Cardinal Becciu renounced his Vatican publish and the rights of a cardinal, however not his title, at the ask for of Pope Francis. The Vatican did not give a reason for the go at that time.