Vatican indicts Cardinal Becciu, nine others in London real estate deal

A Vatican judge on Saturday indicted 10 people, including a once-powerful cardinal, on charges including embezzlement, abuse of office, extortion and fraud.

The indictments are in connection with the Secretariat of State’s 350 million-euro investment in a London real estate venture.

The president of the Vatican’s criminal tribunal, Giuseppe Pignatone, set July 27 as the trial date, according to a Vatican press statement.

The indictments were handed down following a sprawling, two-year investigation into how the Secretariat of State managed its vast asset portfolio. Much of which is funded by the Peter’s Pence donations from the faithful.

The scandal has resulted in a sharp reduction in donations and prompted Pope Francis to strip the office of its ability to manage the money.

Five former Vatican officials, including Cardinal Angelo Becciu and two officials from the Secretariat of State, were indicted, as well as Italian businessmen who handled the London investment.

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