Judge in Vatican corruption trial orders prosecution to share extra proof

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VATICAN CITY, Oct 6 (Reuters) – The chief decide at a Vatican trial of 10 folks accused of economic crimes, together with a cardinal, on Wednesday ordered the prosecution to provide the defence extra entry to proof and to query defendants who weren’t given the proper to talk earlier.

Court president Giuseppe Pignatone responded to a shock supply the prosecution made on Tuesday wherein it acknowledged weaknesses in its case and mentioned it was prepared to return to the investigative section to fill in gaps contested by the defence.

The trial revolves largely across the buy by the Vatican’s Secretariat of State of a industrial and residential constructing at 60 Sloane Avenue in London’s South Kensington, one of many wealthiest districts within the British capital.

Pignatone ordered the prosecution to provide the defence entry to remaining documentation, proof, movies of interrogations and different materials by Nov. 3 and adjourned the trial till Nov. 17.

Defence attorneys mentioned they have been proud of the ruling and mentioned they might press the prosecution to query their shoppers on subjects that weren’t lined earlier than an indictment was handed down on July 3.

By setting a date for the resumption of the trial, Pignatone successfully rejected a defence request to annul the 500-page indictment, which might have killed the present trial.

Defence attorneys will now have the ability to view movies of 5 interrogations of Monsignor Alberto Perlasca, a former Vatican official who was first a suspect after which a star witness for the prosecution. So far they’ve entry to written summaries.

Perlasca is the primary witness within the case towards essentially the most outstanding defendant, Cardinal Angelo Becciu, a as soon as highly effective Vatican official.

The prosecution has accused Becciu, different former Vatican officers or workers and outdoors middlemen concerned within the deal of embezzlement, abuse of workplace, and fraud, amongst different fees. They all have denied wrongdoing.

Becciu can also be accused of witness tampering and his attorneys mentioned they have been hopeful that viewing tapes would additional assist their request for that cost to be dropped.

The Secretariat of State sank greater than 350 million euros into the London funding, in accordance with Vatican media, and suffered what Cardinal George Pell, an ex-Vatican treasurer, advised Reuters final 12 months have been “enormous losses”.

Pope Francis fired Becciu from his final Vatican put up in 2020 for alleged nepotism, which he additionally has denied.

Reporting by Philip Pullella, Editing by William Maclean

Trial begins at the Vatican for 10 people, including prominent Italian cardinal Angelo Becciu, who are charged with financial crimes including embezzlement, money laundering, fraud, extortion and abuse of office, at the Vatican, July 27, 2021. Vatican Media/Handout via REUTERS