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Libero Milone in 2016 (CNS/L’Osservatore Romano/Reuters)

The Vatican’s first auditor-general, Libero Milone, will head back to court today to appeal what he argues was a wrongful termination. Source: The Australian.

In an interview with The Australian ahead of the appeal, Mr Milone described the death of his former boss Cardinal George Pell as “shrouded in mystery” and revealed he made a heartfelt vow to “get to the truth” for his colleague while paying final respects at his coffin in Rome.

Mr Milone, a former partner with multinational accounting giant Deloitte, is the only man left alive of the high-powered trio – led by Cardinal Pell – who launched Pope Francis’s reforms of the Holy See’s corrupt, sclerotic financial systems.

But on June 18, 2017 – 11 days before Cardinal Pell had to return to Australia to face historic child sexual abuse charges – Mr Milone and his deputy, the late Ferruccio Panicco, a specialist forensic accountant, were sacked in mysterious, violent circumstances.

Vatican police raided Mr Milone’s office, bursting in unexpectedly, confiscating electronic equipment and forcing open a safe with axes, crowbars, sledgehammers, chisels, and power-drills. 

Mr Milone and Mr Panicco were then detained for hours by Vatican gendarmes. They were accused of spying and threatened with criminal charges if they refused to sign resignation letters.

After five years of struggling to find out what the accusations against them were, the pair sued the Vatican for wrongful dismissal in 2022, seeking more than €9 million ($14.5m) in compensation for lost earnings and damages. 

They also tried several times to reach an out-of-court settlement but were unsuccessful.

In a written decision dated January 22 this year, the Vatican court rejected their claim – but not through a finding that the two men had been correctly forced from their jobs.

In a bizarre twist that raised eyebrows among veteran Vatican watchers, the tribunal agreed that the gendarmes had been responsible for their removal.

But, the court ruled that the gendarmes and the now-disgraced Cardinal Angelo Becciu – the nemesis of Cardinal Pell and Mr Milone for two years during the financial reform process – had acted in their capacity as “private persons”.

In his appeal against that decision, which begins today, lawyers for Mr Milone and Mr Panicco’s estate will argue that Cardinal Becciu acted as a Vatican official, not as a private person, when he pressured the two men to resign in 2017.


George Pell’s death ‘shrouded in mystery’: former Vatican auditor Libero Milone vows to get to the truth (By Paola Totaro, The Australian)


Ex-Vatican auditor general appeals ruling: ‘they deceived the Pope’ (NCR Online)