Cardinal Angelo Becciu is one of ten individuals facing charges such as extortion, abuse of office and fraud. The indictment relates to a €350 million investment in a London real estate venture.
The once-powerful head of the Catholic Church’s saint-making office faces trial over a €350 million ($415 million) investment in a London real estate venture, the Holy See said in a statement Saturday.
Cardinal Angelo Becciu, along with nine others, will be prosecuted under the Vatican’s legal system.
Now a Vatican criminal tribunal has indicted the 73-year-old Italian, along with four other Church officials and an Italian businessman on charges of extortion, abuse of office and fraud.
An Italian intelligence expert was also indicted on alleged embezzlement charges.
The suspects have denied wrongdoing.
July 27 trial date after 2-year investigation
The tribunal president, Judge Giuseppe Pignatone, set July 27 as the trial date, according to Saturday’s statement.
A 487-page indictment was issued after a two-year investigation into how one of the oldest departments in the Church administration, the Secretariat of State, managed its asset portfolio, much of which is funded by donations.
Vatican prosecutors accuse the main suspects of siphoning millions of euros from the Holy See in fees and other losses.
Becciu helped engineer the initial London investment when he was the chief of staff in the Secretariat, prosecutors say.
The scandal has resulted in a sharp drop in financial contributions to the Church and prompted the Pope to strip the office of its ability to manage the money.