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Archive photo of one of the previous hearings in the Vatican Tribunal on the management of Holy See funds Archive photo of one of the previous hearings in the Vatican Tribunal on the management of Holy See funds   (@VaticanMedia)

Vatican trial postponed to January

The fifth hearing in the case concerning alleged financial offences involving funds from the Secretariat of State is cut short as only one of the four suspects, whose indictment had been cancelled, was available for questioning.

By Vatican News staff writer

A hearing in the case concerning alleged financial offences involving funds from the Secretarian of State took place on Tuesday morning in the Vatican. The hearing, the fifth since 27 July lasted only ten minutes. The President of the Vatican Tribunal, Giuseppe Pignatone, set the date for the next session as 25 January 2022. On this day it will perhaps be possible to communicate a date for the summons for trial or the dismissal that may be presented by the Promoter of Justice regarding the four suspects whose committal for trial had been set at zero, since they had not been questioned in the preliminary phase.

After mid-February, it is hoped "at last” to proceed with the reunification of the two "sections" of the proceedings: "Everything will be dealt with from scratch, in the light of what's new", said the president of the Vatican Court, explaining that in two months' time the intention is to "begin the process", thus getting to the heart of a trial that has been stuck in procedural skirmishes since July.

Postponement to 25 January

Today's postponement is motivated by the fact that "to date, only one of the suspects invited to appear has responded to the summons and made himself available for questioning," explained the promoter of Applied Justice, Gianluca Perone. He also said that "we expect to file new requests for committal for trial or dismissal by 20 January". In the absence of these documents "we can do nothing but postpone," replied President Pignatone, setting the date for the next hearing at 25 January. "A hearing," he said, "once again of mere transit. I hope it will be the last".

Transcription of the audio-video interrogations

Of the six remaining defendants - out of the initial ten - only Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu was present in court. At the beginning of the hearing, Pignatone announced that he had ordered the transcription of the audio-video recorded interrogations of the defendants in the trial "as it was in July". In the first place, that of Monsignor Alberto Perlasca, at the time of the facts head of the administrative office of the first section of the Secretariat of State, now considered the "key witness". The deadline is 10 January, the day when the Perlasca's files will be deposited, followed by the other nine "shorter" ones. Luigi Panella, lawyer of financier Enrico Crasso, asked for the possibility of appointing a technical consultant to take part in the transcription work; a possibility not provided for, however, by the Code in force in the Vatican City State.

14 December 2021, 14:44