mercoledì 17 novembre 2021

Pope’s own role in Vatican London deal comes before court

(Nicole Winfield, AP)
Defense lawyers in the Vatican’s fraud and extortion trial accused prosecutors on Wednesday of withholding pieces of evidence — including an alleged interrogation of Pope Francis — as the pontiff’s own role in a flawed London property investment again came before the court. The Vatican city state tribunal president, Giuseppe Pignatone, said he would rule Dec. 1 on a new defense request to throw out the indictment. Pignatone has already nullified several charges against some of the defendants because of prosecutorial errors. “It’s clear we need more time before starting. If we manage to start,” Pignatone told the court. The trial concerns the Secretariat of State’s 350 million euro investment in a luxury London property development, much of it funded with donations from the faithful. Vatican prosecutors have accused Italian brokers and Vatican officials of defrauding the Holy See in the deal, and of extorting the Vatican of 15 million euros to actually acquire control of the property. Prosecutors have indicted 10 people, including a cardinal, on a range of charges. Defense attorneys have argued that their ability to properly defend their clients had been harmed by the prosecutors’ refusal to turn over key pieces of evidence, including videotaped recordings of their interrogations with a key suspect-turned-star witness, Monsignor Alberto Perlasca. (...)