Source: Associated Press
By NICOLE WINFIELD
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The former president of the Vatican bank went on trial Wednesday on charges he and his lawyer embezzled 57 million euros ($68 million) in Vatican real estate sales, a case that shows the Holy See’s willingness to prosecute shady financial deals that may have involved top cardinals.
Angelo Caloia appeared in the Vatican courtroom, while his onetime lawyer and 95-year-old co-defendant, Gabriele Liuzzo, was absent, citing his age. A third suspect died during the investigation.
During the nearly four-hour hearing, the court revealed it planned to appoint technical experts to assess the value of the real estate in question. Prosecutors allege the apartments were sold at below-market rates to offshore companies, and then resold at market rates with the defendants pocketing the difference.