sunny.png
Thursday May 19th, 2022 5:34PM

Vatican cardinal complains prosecutors asked about sex life

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The lone cardinal indicted in the Vatican’s big fraud and embezzlement trial has issued a formal protest to the court claiming the pope’s prosecutors had offended his dignity by suggesting he was having sex with a co-defendant.

Cardinal Angelo Becciu, a onetime high-ranking official in the Vatican secretary of state, is the only defendant who has attended all hearings of the trial. But Becciu stayed home on Tuesday and wrote a letter to the court saying he didn’t want to be present while his lawyers raised objections to the contents of a 2020 interrogation by prosecutors about his relationship with co-defendant Cecilia Marogna.

The objection was the latest made by the defense about the behavior of the pope’s prosecutors during their investigation, which began in 2019 over the Vatican’s 350 million euro investment in a London real estate deal. The probe has grown to include Becciu’s donations of Vatican money to a charity run by his brother and his payments of Vatican money to Marogna, whom he had hired as an external security consultant to help negotiate the release of Catholic missionary hostages in Africa.

Both Becciu and Marogna have denied wrongdoing or any improper relationship.

The Vatican tribunal president threw out the prosecutors’ indictments against four other suspects because they made procedural errors, though on Tuesday the four were re-indicted.

The tribunal has also repeatedly ordered prosecutors to hand over all evidence after defense attorneys complained they couldn’t properly defend their clients without it. Six months into the trial, prosecutors have still held onto some evidence, turning over edited portions of videotaped interrogations and a fraction of the emails, text messages and other informational evidence that they had seized.

On Tuesday, tribunal president Giuseppe Pignatone gave prosecutors one more deadline to make the forensic copies available to the defense by Monday, after Becciu’s lawyers said they had received only 16 of 255 pieces of evidence seized.

Becciu’s lawyers also raised an objection to the behavior of prosecutors during a November 2020 interrogation of their prime suspect turned star witness, Monsignor Alberto Perlasca, a longtime Becciu deputy. During the session, prosecutor Alessandro Diddi pressed Perlasca about whether Becciu was having intimate relations with Marogna.

According to a transcript, Perlasca denied anything untoward. But Diddi persisted, noting that a famous Italian television comedian had done a skit suggesting that Marogna was Becciu's lover, and wondering why Becciu hadn’t sued him if it were false.

According to Becciu’s lawyers, Diddi’s line of questioning violated the Vatican’s procedural code, which forbids interrogating witnesses about the morality of others.

Diddi, for his part, defended his behavior.

“I am tranquil about the work we have done," he told the court.

Pignatone set the next trial date for Feb. 18, at which point the newly re-indicted suspects would re-join the trial and the court would consider the defense objections raised to date.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP World News, AP Business
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Ukrainian leaders: Stay calm, Russian invasion not imminent
Ukraine’s leaders are seeking to reassure the nation that a feared invasion from neighboring Russia is not imminent
1:35PM ( 4 minutes ago )
Vatican cardinal complains prosecutors asked about sex life
The lone cardinal indicted in the Vatican’s big fraud and embezzlement trial is complaining that the pope’s prosecutors offended his dignity by suggesting he was having sex with a co-defendant
1:34PM ( 5 minutes ago )
German caution on arms to Ukraine rooted in history, energy
Germany’s refusal to join other NATO members in providing weapons to Ukraine has annoyed some allies and raised questions about Berlin’s resolve in standing up to Russia
1:27PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Winter welcome: Stranded drivers freed in Istanbul, Athens
Rescue crews in Istanbul and Athens have dug through snow and ice to clear roads that came to a standstill after snowstorms hit much of Turkey and Greece
1:10PM ( 29 minutes ago )
Two more Poles identified as victims of hacking with spyware
Two more Poles have been identified as victims of phone hacking with the notoriously powerful spyware of Israel’s NSO Group
12:56PM ( 43 minutes ago )
Malawi hit by flooding caused by tropical storm Ana; 1 dead
Officials in Malawi say that tropical storm Ana has caused widespread flooding, power outages and killed at least one person in Malawi
12:20PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP World News
Ukrainian leaders: Stay calm, Russian invasion not imminent
Ukraine’s leaders are seeking to reassure the nation that a feared invasion from neighboring Russia is not imminent
1:35PM ( 4 minutes ago )
German caution on arms to Ukraine rooted in history, energy
Germany’s refusal to join other NATO members in providing weapons to Ukraine has annoyed some allies and raised questions about Berlin’s resolve in standing up to Russia
1:27PM ( 12 minutes ago )
GM to spend nearly $7B on EV, battery plants in Michigan
General Motors is making the largest investment in company history in its home state of Michigan, announcing plans to spend nearly $7 billion to convert a factory to make electric pickup trucks and to build a new battery cell plant
1:23PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Rihanna's foundation donates $15 million to climate justice
Rihanna is backing her belief that climate change is a social-justice issue by pledging $15 million to the movement through her Clara Lionel Foundation
1:22PM ( 17 minutes ago )
MSC Group, Lufthansa partner in bid for Italy's ITA Airways
The parent group of MSC Cruises is partnering with Lufthansa in a bid for a majority stake in Italy’s ITA Airways
1:22PM ( 17 minutes ago )