ROME — A Vatican judge on Saturday indicted 10 people, including a once-powerful Italian cardinal, on charges including money laundering, fraud and abuse of office in relation to a financial scandal involving a London real estate deal.
The indictment comes on the heels of a two-year investigation by Vatican prosecutors who sifted through what Vatican News described as “enormous number of documents.”
Those indicted include Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, the former chief of staff in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, whom Francis dismissed in September as the investigation into the London deal gathered steam. Cardinal Becciu has maintained his innocence.
Also indicted were two former top officials at the Vatican’s intelligence unit, officials at the Secreteriat of State, and Italian brokers who were involved in the real estate deal. The Vatican also filed subpoenas against four companies related to people involved in the case.
The investigation, which began in 2019, brought to light “a vast network of relationships with financial market operators that have generated significant losses for the Vatican finances,” according to a Vatican statement issued on Saturday.
In the statement, the Vatican said that the judicial investigation was “directly connected to the directives and reforms” of Pope Francis, “in his attempt to achieve transparency and clean up Vatican finances.”