VATICAN CITY: An influential Cardinal and nine others will be tried over alleged financial wrongdoing linked to the purchase of a plush London property, the Holy See announced on Saturday. In a first within the Vatican legal system, Italian Cardinal Angelo Becciu, who was a leading figure in Rome and a close ally of Pope Francis, will appear before a tribunal from July 27.
The 73-year-old was dismissed from a powerful Vatican job last September, after Francis told him he had been accused of syphoning off Vatican charity funds to help his siblings. Becciu will be prosecuted over embezzlement, abuse of power and witness tampering in the case, linked to a scandal concerning a loss-making Vatican investment in central London that happened under his watch. He has always professed his innocence.
Among the other defendants in the Vatican trial are Rene Bruelhart, the Swiss former head of the Financial Information Authority (FIA), the Vatican's financial watchdog.