Vatican, financial scandal trial: Becciu speaks

River interrogation that will continue tomorrow as part of the trial on the financial scandal linked to the sale of the London building in Sloane Avenue

Despite having been dispensed by Pope Francis from the pontifical secret, Msgr. Angelo Becciu, in today’s long interrogation at the trial underway in the Vatican, did not want to talk about the case of Cecilia Marogna and the release of the nun Gloria Cecilia Narvaez, kidnapped in Mali by the jihadists. To a question from the promoter of justice regarding an exchange of messages with Msgr. Perlasca dating back to when he was no longer number 2 of the Secretariat of State, Becciu asked: “Can I make a statement on this?”. And then he explained: “So on the dispute that is addressed to me about Mrs. Marogna I have already contributed to the reconstruction of the truth that the Tribunal is conducting, also offering clarifications that seem exhaustive. To protect the Holy Father, the Holy See and many missionaries still present in remote and dangerous territories, I believe that I do not need to further detail the operation for the liberation of Sister Gloria “.

After a while, the promoter insisted: “Has the secretariat of state ever dealt with other kidnappings in the past with respect to the affair of Sister Gloria?” “I use the right not to answer,” Becciu said. And again: “Have you personally dealt with other kidnappings?”. “On this subject I avail myself of the right not to answer”, the cardinal reiterated.

Becciu nevertheless answered some questions about the Sardinian entrepreneur, recalling that the first interview with Marogna took place “in June 2016, in the Secretariat of State”, and was “procured by her request” via email. How many meetings between 2016 and 2018? “I don’t remember, they took place in the office, in the Secretariat of State, sometimes in a restaurant”. It would have been Becciu who asked her for an opinion on the kidnapping of the nun, as reported by the cardinal himself: “We talked about the situation in general, political, international, security problems. She told me that there could be a chance to help and free this nun”. “At that moment she had already arranged for the meetings in the Secretariat of State of which I said” with the heads of the Services, added Becciu, responding to the accusation that she was asking him about the ‘references’ of the entrepreneur. “He told me about his curriculum vitae …”, the cardinal explained, adding: “I know that you collaborated with the Services, I cannot say more”. And assuring that the money “was used for the operation”, that is, for the freedom of the nun, “but not for the ransom. I never spoke of ransom”. As for the question of whether he had had a confrontation with Marogna on the disputes that had been raised, Becciu, who confirmed that he had also met the woman in his apartment in the Vatican, assured that she has always excluded him from using money for expenses. voluptuous.

Becciu confirmed that Cecilia Marogna, a Sardinian manager involved in the investigation, was staying at his home. Questioned by prosecutor Alessandro Diddi, he said that one evening “she came to me. We had to talk and it was late. The nuns told me that Marogna was afraid of Covid and did not want to go to the hotel. I agreed. I met her again the next morning. at breakfast”.

Still on the relationship with Marogna, Becciu said that “we talked about geopolitics” with her. The cardinal said that after the release of Marogna they were able to meet again: “I met her in Sardinia at Christmas 2021. For me it was a priestly act”.

Pressed by Diddi if he had ever contested the use of Vatican money for discretionary expenses in Marogna, the cardinal said that he contested it “but she has always denied me. She was a destroyed woman”. Becciu on the ransom for the release of the kidnapped nun, Sister Gloria said: “I believe I do not have to go into further detail on Sister Gloria’s release. And I have never used the word ransom, I don’t even want to hear it.”

Many of the questions put by the prosecutor to Becciu concerned the individual financial investments involved in the trial.

In the hearing, Becciu reiterated once again: “I have never made strategic investment decisions. Those carried out were made on the basis of the proposals of the special office, mainly through the intermediary of Msgr. Perlasca – whose position has been archived -. They gave me their reasons as it happened for the London building and having had no reasons to the contrary, I gave my assent ”.

Monsignor Alberto Perlasca “told me nothing about the critical issues” related to the London Palace. Cardinal Angelo Becciu said this when speaking of the head of his administrative office, during the long interrogation before the Vatican Tribunal for the financial scandal linked to the sale of the London building in Sloane Avenue. Becciu reiterated “esteem for his fairness and honesty. What I reproach him is that he did not inform me of any critical issues in the investments”.

He then recalled that from his office “I was underlined the great advantages of the operation. Only advantages, not negative notes”. Furthermore, he explained, “I trusted Mons. Perlasca, who has always been considered expert and competent in his matters”.

“The stress of this trial has affected my memory a lot”, said Becciu during the river interrogation – which will continue tomorrow – before the Vatican Tribunal as part of the trial on the financial scandal linked to the sale of the London building on Sloane Avenue.

During the interrogation, prosecutor Diddi challenged the cardinal for his ‘no memories’, also provoking the reaction of Becciu’s defender, to which Becciu replied: “It’s not that I was signing without looking but there were hundreds of documents to sign. The substitute at the secretariat of state has a thousand things to do “.

On the dismissal of Libero Milone, the first Auditor General of the Vatican accounts, “I followed up on the Pope’s request who told me: ‘He no longer enjoys the confidence of the Holy Father. Ask you to resign”.

A continuous question and answer between the prosecutor Alessandro Diddi, Becciu and his defense with the president Pignatone to calm the waters from time to time. A day of great tension. Becciu’s interrogation will continue tomorrow. Then Diddi asks Becciu about Milone’s resignation. “I have no responsibility. I gave course – explained Becciu – to the Pope’s request”. Particular not secondary: Becciu, during the interrogation, said that “in these days” he asked the Pope if he could speak freely on the Milone affair.