Vatican Releases Details from London Property Trial after 1st Day in Vatican Court with Cardinal Becciu Present - VIDEO
Vatican News reports on the First hearing held in Vatican over London building
The trial over the use Secretariat of State funds began on Tuesday in the courtroom of the Vatican Museums. The defense attorneys for the ten defendants presented preliminary motions. The next hearing is scheduled for October 5.
The large courtroom set up in the Vatican Museums hosted, on Tuesday, 27 July, the first hearing in the Vatican over the illicit deals made with Secretariat of State funds, starting with the sale of the Sloane Avenue Building in London. Judge Giuseppe Pignatonewith Judges Venerando Marano and Carlo Bonzano at his side, presided over the hearing, which lasted seven hours from 9:41 to 16:45. About thirty lawyers, journalists, and gendarmes were present, although only two of the ten defendants were present: Msgr. Mauro Carlino, already in the courtroom early in the morning, and Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, the former Substitute of the Secretariat of State, who is accused of embezzlement, abuse of office and subornation. The cardinal, from whom the Pope revoked the prerogatives of the cardinalate in September 2020, attended the entire hearing sitting. And at the end of the hearing, he recalled that he had always been "obedient to the Pope, who sent me to trial", saying he was "not worried": "I have the confidence that the judges will see the facts clearly and my great hope is the certainty that they will recognize my innocence". He also announced that he had given a mandate to his lawyers to denounce Msgr. Alberto Perlasca and Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui for slander.
Also present in the courtroom on behalf of the IOR was lawyer Roberto Lipari, who stressed that the Istituto per le Opere di Religione is "an injured party":
"The task of the IOR is to safeguard the assets destined for works of religion and charity. The illicit use of IOR assets damages the ability of the IOR - which is not part of either the Holy See or the Vatican City State - to make new contacts and relationships."
The decision of the Tribunal
After an hour and twenty minutes of council chamber, President Pignatone revoked the Vatican's arrest warrant against Mincione and reserved the right to decide on the objections and requests of the lawyers. He then established the judgment in absentia of all those absent from the first hearing, with the exception of broker Gianluigi Torzi, who is not participating due to a legitimate impediment; as well as Cardinal Becciu and his former secretary Msgr. Carlino who had appeared in court.
Source: Excerpt from Vatican News va by Salvatore Cernuzio - Vatican City