In his first major media appearance since being convicted of financial crimes by a Vatican tribunal and sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison, Cardinal Angelo Becciu said, “I want to shout to the world that I’m innocent”. Source: Crux.
“I’m going to do everything I can, everything to demonstrate my innocence through the legal system and in every way possible,” Cardinal Becciu said, speaking on the program Cinque Minuti (Five Minutes), hosted by Bruno Vespa, one of the country’s best known television journalists.
“I want to shout to the world that I’m innocent,” Cardinal Becciu said. “I absolutely did not commit any of the crimes of which I’ve been accused.”
With regard to the complex London property deal at the heart of the recent Vatican trial, Cardinal Becciu appeared to suggest that primary responsibility rested with Italian Msgr Alberto Perlasca, who headed an administrative office within the Secretariat of State that oversaw the London operation but who escaped indictment by becoming a witness for the prosecution instead.
Cardinal Becciu was convicted along with eight of the nine other defendants in the case centring on the $US400 million purchase of a building in London that unfolded from 2014 to 2018.
The 75-year-old prelate was also found guilty of unrelated charges arising from two other cases, one involving transfers of about $US125,000 to a Catholic charity in Sardinia led by his brother and another involving payments of $US600,000 to a self-described security consultant for the liberation of a kidnapped nun, some of which, according to prosecutors, was used by the consultant to purchase luxury goods for herself.
He has maintained his innocence throughout the process and his attorneys have announced plans to appeal the convictions.