Vatican court hears secret recording of Pope talking about hostage charges

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VATICAN CITY – A Vatican court opened a rare sighting on Thursday as secret records of Pope Francis were played in court over the Vatican’s payment for the release of a nun held hostage by militants linked to al-Qaeda. I am investigating a financial fraud case that I heard about from a person.

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The broadcast of the Pope’s own voice in court has already seen many twists and turns as Vatican judges try to decide who should be held criminally responsible for the loss of tens of millions of euros in papal property. marked a surreal new chapter in the trial. .

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Vatican prosecutors on Thursday presented the recording as evidence, saying it was part of a large body of material recently obtained from the Italian financial police, who are investigating a Sardinian charity. Vatican trial.

Vatican prosecutors have revealed that evidence from Sardinia has been added to a new Vatican investigation.Bechuu is being investigated for criminal conspiracy charges.

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According to prosecutor Angelo Didi, Betsch and family members surreptitiously recorded Francis when Betsch spoke to him on the phone from his Vatican apartment on July 24, 2021, three days before the Vatican trial began. Did. Most of the defendants face charges related to his €350 million investment in London property by the Vatican, but Betchuu is a self-proclaimed security guard who is also a public official and is involved in dealings with his analysts. Relatedly, he is on trial for abuse of power and embezzlement. Judge, Cecilia Malagna.

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In the recording, Betsch tells Francis that the Pope has basically authorized payments to a British company identified by Maragna to negotiate the freedom of a Colombian nun kidnapped in Mali in 2017. Francis had just been released from a 10-day hospital stay, was familiar with the case and basically agreed, according to several attorneys who heard the recording. He ordered the journalist to leave the courtroom while the recording was being played, as it was not admitted as evidence.

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Sister Gloria Cecilia Narvaez was abducted by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in Mali in February 2017. While she was in captivity, the group regularly showed Narvaez on video and called for help from the Vatican.

Becciu said in court on May 5 that he had raised her predicament with Francis and offered the pope up to €1 million to hire the British company Inkerman Group to find the nun and secure her freedom. agreed to spend She was finally released last year and met with the Pope.

The record threw Becciu in a dubious light about secretly recording the Pope, but it was by Becciu and other defendants that Francis was indeed familiar with some of the expenditures disputed in the trial, Although Vatican law does not provide for the Pope to be questioned during a criminal trial, defense attorneys have alleged that the Pope knows about various financial decisions. and said the recording reinforced their claim that the Pope’s testimony was correct and important for the exam.

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Prosecutors have accused Italian brokers and Vatican officials of numerous financial crimes, including fraud, embezzlement, corruption and abuse of power. In the London lawsuit, they accuse the defendant of defrauding the Vatican and then extorting his €15 million from the Vatican to gain control of the property.

A Vatican court heard this week that the Vatican lost more than 100 million euros in real estate deals alone.

The Vatican official most closely tied to the deal, Monsignor Alberto Perlasca, stood up for the first time on Thursday with some of the most eagerly anticipated testimony, quickly blaming his lieutenant for the fiasco. Perlasca was initially a key suspect in the investigation, but changed the story in August 2020 and is now considered a casualty in the incident.

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Vatican court hears secret recording of Pope talking about hostage charges

Source link Vatican court hears secret recording of Pope talking about hostage charges

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