Recently resigned-cardinal Becciu now stands suspected of stealing Vatican money to secure hostile witness testimony during the trial of Cardinal George Pell.
Italian newspaper Il Messaggero reported on Friday that the allegations were made by Msgr. Albert Perlasca, Becciu’s former chief deputy at the Secretariat of State whom he worked with for several years in part overseeing Vatican finances.
Perlasca, cooperating with Vatican prosecutors in ongoing investigations of financial crimes at the Vatican Secretariat of State involving Becciu, accused him of transferring 700,000 euros from a Vatican account to an Australian account during the trial of Cardinal Pell, now acquitted and recently back in Rome.
The money was said to be used to ‘bribe witnesses to secure a sex abuse conviction against’ Pell.
“Vatican investigators suspect Cardinal Becciu hoped to use the money to definitively derail Cardinal Pell’s transparency programme, which threatened to expose his allegedly corrupt management of Vatican cash.”
Becciu, of course, denied the reports: “I categorically deny interfering in any way in the trial of Cardinal Pell.”
After hearing of Becciu’s forced resignation from the cardinalate, Pell said: “The Holy Father was elected to clean up Vatican finances. He plays a long game and is to be thanked and congratulated on recent developments.”