Rome (CNN)The Vatican has indicted 10 people, including an Italian cardinal, for several alleged financial crimes including extortion, corruption, fraud, forgery, embezzlement and abuse of power.
The investigation, which started in July 2019, was carried out by the Vatican in cooperation with Italian authorities and revealed “a vast network of ties between financial market operators who generated substantial losses for the Vatican finances,” a statement from the Vatican said on Saturday.
Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu was indicted “for the crimes of embezzlement, abuse of office … and bribery,” the Vatican added. Becciu allegedly used money from the Vatican to benefit his two brothers’ businesses, according to a detailed report by Vatican News, which is what led the Pope to fire the cardinal last year.
Becciu, who once held a powerful position in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, said on Saturday in a statement he is a victim of a “conspiracy” against him and maintained his innocence. Vatican laws require the Pope to sign off on any investigation and indictment of a cardinal.
Becciu, 73, was created cardinal by Pope Francis in 2018 and made the head of the office that oversees canonizations of saints. From 2011, he served as the “substitute” in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, a powerful position similar to chief-of-staff.
Click here to read more.