· Vatican City ·

Vatican trial defendants sentenced to total of 37 years in prison

22 December 2023

The Vatican Tribunal has found Cardinal Angelo Becciu guilty of three counts of embezzlement, at the conclusion of the trial on the management of funds of the Secretariat of State and the purchase and sale of a property in Sloane Suqare, London. He was sentenced to five years and six months imprisonment and perpetual interdiction from public office and ordered to pay a fine of 8,000 Euros. The verdict was handed down on Saturday afternoon, 16 December, by the Tribunal’s president, Giuseppe Pignatone in the Vatican Museums’ multifunctional hall.

Enrico Crasso, former financial advisor to the Secretariat of State, was sentenced by the same court to seven years in prison and interdiction from public office and ordered to pay a fine 10,000 Euros. Financier Raffaele Mincione was sentenced to five years and six months in prison and ordered to pay a fine of 8,000. He is also banned from public office. The court sentenced former employee of the administrative office of the Secretariat of State, Fabrizio Tirabassi, to seven years in prison and fined him 10,000 Euros. He too is banned from public office.

Lawyer Nicola Squillace was given one year and ten months imprisonment and a suspended sentence of five years while the broker Gianluigi Torzi was sentenced to six years in prison, fined 6,000 Euros and banned from public office. He has also been submitted to special supervision for one year in accordance with Article 412 of the Criminal Code. Manager, Cecilia Marogna, was sentenced to three years and nine months and a temporary ban on holding public office for the same period. Moreover, a penalty of 40,000 euros was levied on her company Logsic Humanitarne Dejavnosti. Many of the prosecution’s charges have undergone a “requalification”

René Brülhart and Tommaso Di Ruzza, former president and director of the Vatican’s Supervisory and Financial Information Authority, respectively, were fined 1,750 Euros. They were acquitted of the crimes of abuse of office charged against them and were found guilty only of the offences of failure to denounce and failure to report a suspicious transaction to the Promoter of Justice.

Many of the defence attorneys present in the courtroom have announced that they will file an appeal.

The genesis of this trial has shown that the Holy See and Vatican City State have the necessary “antibodies” to identify presumed abuses or misconduct. The way the trial hearings were carried out shows how justice is being administered without shortcuts, following a code of practice with respect for the rights of each person and the presumption of innocence.