A new corruption scandal in the Vatican?

At the beginning of July 2018, the judicial authorities of the Vatican held a second hearing against two former public officials of the Vatican bank for illicit enrichment and embezzlement of funds

A new corruption scandal in the Vatican?

Second Audience in the State of Vatican City

Former public officers of the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR), also known as the Vatican Bank, are in the eye of the hurricane for selling some personal property of this entity at devalued prices, in addition to transferring the money to personal accounts between 2001 and 2009. The alleged implicated are the former director of the Vatican Bank, Angelo Caloia, and his lawyer Gabriele Liuzzo.

Leer en español: ¿Un nuevo escándalo de corrupción en el Vaticano?

In an unprecedented event inside the State of the Vatican City, according to Excelsior, on July 4, 2018, the second hearing was held against these two former officials to determine their guilt in the facts, to study the evidence they have in against it and examine new evidence provided by the Swiss authorities.

This investigation has been ongoing for several years, in which the main evidence against Caloia and Liuzzo has been provided by the Swiss banking authorities. The lawyer Roberto Lipari argued during the hearing that there are more than six folders provided by the Swiss authorities that implicate Mr. Liuzzo and his son for millionaire transactions between 2001 and 2009, as reported by Excelsior.

At the end of the hearing, Judge Piero Milano ruled the connection to the investigation of three experts in financial recreation and personal property belonging to the Vatican. According to the newspaper, the person in charge of evaluating the items sold and the real value thereof will be Alessandra Gaspari. For his part, the official Luigi Gaspari will be in charge of the reconstruction of the financial transactions carried out both in Switzerland and in Italy, and Dorotea Nicosia will be the official translator of all the documentation.

However, some officials of the Vatican Bank have estimated the detriment in more than 57 million euros.

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Unprecedented judicial process

The smallest state in the world had never had a judicial process for corruption against two ex-officials of such high rank in the Institute of Religious Works, such as Gabriele Liuzzo and Angelo Caloia.

Some experts in the field claim that these corruption trials within the Vatican are propitiated by the pontificate of Pope Francis, with the aim of showing the Vatican institutions as transparent to public opinion and mark a new era within the Vatican.

The Vatican expert, Fausto Gasparroni, assured that in previous years it was practically impossible to prosecute a high official of the IOR, even if they had been requested by the Italian authorities themselves, due to their diplomatic immunity. Now, in this case, it was the same Vatican State that ordered the trial against these two ex-employees.

It should be noted that the money laundering perpetrated by these two officials has nothing to do with the Institute of Religious Works because these transactions were made in their own name, according to La Nación of Argentina. That is to say, it was the Vatican Bank itself that was affected by the illegal actions of these two subjects, selling their movable assets at ridiculous values ​​and appropriating this money. The Vatican Bank did not commit the crime of money laundering as an institution, but its former employees.

LatinAmerican Post | Miguel Díaz

Translated from "¿Un nuevo escándalo al interior del Estado de la Ciudad del Vaticano?"

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