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Vatican, while Cardinal Becciu is speaking, Monsignor Perlasca arrives: expelled from Pignatone
Twist of the scene during the hearing in the Vatican in the trial for the financial scandal linked to the sale of the London building in Sloane Avenue: the key witness, Monsignor Alberto Perlasca, at the hearing extended, presented himself in the Courtroom while the interrogation of Cardinal Angelo Becciu.
Prosecutor Alessandro Diddi immediately pointed out that Perlasca, who will be a civil party in the trial against Becciu, could not remain in the Chamber as a “witness”. President Giuseppe Pignatone’s decision was immediate: “he must leave immediately”.
Perlasca, visibly thin and with a bewildered air, cashed in the decision by protesting vigorously with gestures and was expelled.
During the audience, Cardinal Angelo Becciu said he felt humiliated “in certain sections of the interrogation” of the Promoter of Justice, in the fourth interrogation that was held before the Vatican Court.
Becciu, in particular, contested, in the course of a spontaneous declaration: “I am sorry to say this but questions have been put forward by the Promoter’s Office that have harmed my priestly dignity and my personal honesty”.
“I was blatantly accused of pretending not to understand or not remember, they even doubted my righteousness in handling offers received from the faithful, they tried – the Cardinal pressed – to steal my good faith by presenting unsigned documents or doubtful attribution with premises harmful to my mnemonic effort, thus going beyond the facts on which I am called to defend myself “.
“I – said Becciu – am certainly not an expert in law. But I cannot allow facts and arguments to be exposed, exploiting them, which I consider absolutely unrelated to the accusations and which offend my dignity of cardinals, and through it the whole Church ”.
As for the accusations against the Spes cooperative, Becciu said that he will limit himself “to responding exclusively to the charges relating to the Spes to the questions relating to the two payments made in 2015 and 2018”.
“Of course, I remain at the disposal of the Court and of the parties – he added – exclusively for the charges on which I was called to respond in the trial”.
The cardinal reiterated, during the interrogation, the fourth and last, that if he had understood “that something was wrong with the investments I would have said so. If I had understood that the results were not what I expected, I would have tried to fix it. Indeed, if I had not acted I would have assumed my responsibilities ”.
Tomorrow there will be a new hearing before the Vatican Tribunal. Fabrizio Tirabassi, the former treasurer of the Holy See, will be heard.
According to the lawyers Fabio Viglione and Maria Concetta Marzo, defenders of the cardinal, Becciu “has amply clarified, already from the last hearings, the only objections made by the Prosecution about the Spes cooperative – the two contributions of 2015 and 2018 -, explaining facts by now well-known: support for a bakery and a multifunctional center with a social vocation. The Cardinal therefore explained every event relevant to the trial, avoiding answering questions formulated by the Promotor of Justice on facts unrelated to the disputes. Finally, the Cardinal further reaffirmed the relations with Mrs. Marogna, definitively clarifying the institutional nature of the assignment conferred on her, providing all the necessary information to verify the absolute correctness of her work. Even on the alleged attempt at subornation, the Cardinal revealed the absolute correctness of his conduct, clarifying the absolute groundlessness of the accusation “.
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