British justice has sentenced the State of Vatican City to pay 200,000 pounds (236,655.44 euros, at current exchange rates) for the scandal of the purchase-sale of the building of Sloane Avenuewhich is part of the framework that has brought to trial, in the Holy See, the former Cardinal Angelo Becciu, and has uncovered a plot of alleged corruption in the Pence of Saint Peter (the charity of the Pope) and a possible 'parallel diplomacy of the Vatican.
Total war in the Vatican: financial scandals splash the Secretary of State
The ruling, of immediate execution, points to failures in the supposed "neutrality" of the Holy See, and obliges Rome to pay this amount within 28 days, counting from July 26, the date on which it was reported the sentence to the parties. However, this is not the end of the story regarding the London palace, which, as revealed by the president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See (APSA), Nunzio Galantino, was sold "in the last days" for 215 million euros, when it had cost 350 million. 135 million that should have gone to the poorest and that have been lost along the way.
Ten defendants in the Vatican, including a former cardinal
Part of this money could have been used in opaque investments, as the Vatican prosecutor's office assures in the macro trial for which they have sat on the bench, accused of embezzlement and fraud in the Vatican fundsten people, among them, the aforementioned Becciu and the former financier of the Secretary of State, Raffaele Mincione, declared in absentia by not appearing at trial but, having British nationality, put his case in the hands of the courts.
Now, as he pointed out last week The Daily Telegraphthe Court of Appeal of England and London is raising the possibility of taking the Vatican itself to trial by estimating part of the requests of the defense of Mincione regarding possible irregularities and abuses in the sale of the property in the Chelsea neighborhood.
For the Vatican, Mincione (known as Becciu's broker in court circles) was able to commit fraud by artificially inflating the price of the property in 2018. However, according to the British newspaper, the court agreed with the businessman, who denied any irregularity for his part, and stressed that the British Justice has the right to examine the documents on the sale of real estate and decide if all the parties to the transaction, both the Mincione companies and the Vatican, acted in good faith.
This decision collides with the principle of immunity of the Vatican in matters of civil liability, which according to the ruling is not applicable in this case, since it is a commercial transaction. If this finally happens, it remains to be seen who would have to go, on behalf of the Holy See, and what kind of lawsuit could be substantiated. Meanwhile, the Vatican courts continue with the process, with a dozen defendants, among whom is - in addition to Mincione - former Cardinal Angelo Becciu, former number three of the Holy See.
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