Update on Holy See Scandal
A ‘security consultant’ with links to sacked Cardinal Becciu has been arrested under an international warrant issued by Vatican magistrates on suspicion of “embezzlement and aggravated misappropriation in complicity with others”.
Cecilia Marogna was paid €500,000 (£454,000) through a company in Slovenia she operated to help missionaries in conflict areas.
However, Cardinal Becciu, who was second in command at the Holy See’s Secretariat of State before his ‘resignation’ in September, has been accused of using Ms Marogna to build “off-books” intelligence networks in at-risk countries and areas. There have also been allegations made of an illicit relationship between the two.
Ms Marogna has denied any inappropriate or familial relationship with the Cardinal and said she was only under suspicion for doing her job well and maintaining “discretion and confidentiality”.
However, Vatican documents leaked to the newspaper Corriere della Sera showed that Ms Marogna reportedly spent some of the money she received on shoes, clothes, handbags and other luxury items.
Cardinal Becciu has been linked to several financial scandals, most notably the Secretariat’s investment of hundreds of millions of euros with the Italian businessman Rafaelle Mincione and the controversial purchase of a luxury London building.
A Vatican investigation into that deal, which involved several Italian middlemen, led to the suspension last year of five Vatican employees, the resignation of the city-state’s Chief of Police and the departure of the former head of its Financial Information Authority.
Roger Isaacs, Forensic Partner at Milsted Langdon, said: “When anyone is implicated in financial wrongdoing, their best defence weapon is often a forensic accountant, who can look at the evidence with an independent eye and follow the money trail to find out where funds came from, whether the correct procedures were followed and where the funds ended up.
“Conversely, an independent forensic accountant can help to provide evidence that may expose financial wrongdoing for the court, prosecution or other parties involved in either civil or criminal proceedings.”
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