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Cardinal, 9 Others, To Be Tried In Vatican Over Alleged Fraud

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An influential Cardinal and nine others will be tried within the Vatican’s legal system over alleged financial wrongdoing, Holy See announced Saturday.

The Italian Cardinal, Angelo Becciu, who was one of the most influential figures in the Vatican and a close ally of Pope Francis, will appear before the tribunal of the Holy See from July 27, according to a Vatican statement.

The 73-year-old was dismissed from a powerful Vatican job last September, after Francis told him he was accused of syphoning off Vatican charity funds to help his siblings.

Becciu will be prosecuted over embezzlement, abuse of power and witness tampering in the case, linked to a scandal concerning a loss-making Vatican investment in central London which happened under his watch. He has always professed his innocence.

Before his dismissal, he led the Vatican’s department on sainthoods. From 2011 to 2018 he was the Substitute for General Affairs, a role akin to chief of staff in the Vatican’s central bureaucracy.

Among the others set to face Vatican justice are Rene Bruelhart, former head of Financial Information Authority (FIA), the Vatican’s financial watchdog.

He will face abuses of power charges as will Enrico Crasso, an investment fund manager who controlled millions of euros of Vatican money.

Among the others facing Vatican justice are former FIA director Tommaso Di Ruzza and Italian consultant Cecilia Marogna, known as “the Cardinal’s Lady” for her links with Becciu.

The investment at the heart of the scandal is a building in London’s upmarket Chelsea district, transformed into 50 luxury apartments.

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