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Vatican court sentences Cardinal Becciu to jail for embezzlement

Becciu expected to appeal sentence by Vatican court.

Cardinal Angelo Becciu was convicted by a Vatican criminal court on Saturday of embezzlement and fraud and sentenced to five and a half years in jail in a historic ruling.

 

The Sardinian cardinal is the highest-ranking Vatican official ever to face financial charges, in a trial that concluded this weekend after two and a half years and 86 hearings.

 

The cardinal was also fined €8,000 and banned from public office for life but was aquitted on other counts of embezzlement, abuse of office and witness tampering.

 

Becciu, 75, is expected to appeal the jail sentence which centres around the mismanagement of a property portfolio including a luxury building on Sloane Avenue in London around a decade ago.

 

Becciu at the time was number two in the Secretariat of State, the Vatican department that works most closely with the pope, a powerful position he held from 2011 to 2018.

 

Vatican prosecutor Alessandro Diddi had requested a sentence of seven years and three months for Becciu who in 2020 resigned abruptly from his position as head of the Holy See's saint-making department after becoming embroiled in the real estate scandal.

 

Becciu, who has denied any wrongdoing, stood trial with nine other defendants including financiers, lawyers and former Vatican employees.

 

Nine of the defendants were sentenced to a total of 37 years in prison while one - Monsignor Mauro Carlino - was acquitted of all criminal charges.
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