At the end of a new hearing in the so-called “London building” case, which took place at the Vatican on February 28, 2022, Judge Giuseppe Pignatone announced that he would end the pretrial procedural phase at a hearing the following day, March 1. He will decide whether or not the trial can enter its main phase. The prosecution also estimated that the Holy See had lost 217 million euros (240 million dollars) in the mismanaged property deal. This figure from the prosecution is notably larger than the 76 to 166 million euros initially reported.
This was the eighth hearing since the proceedings were launched more than six months ago, in July 2021. The case being tried examines the role played by 10 people — including an Italian cardinal, Angelo Becciu — in the acquisition of a building in London and other collateral financial transactions.
As in past hearings, the defense lawyers multiplied their requests for nullity, denouncing procedural flaws and an incomplete dossier. Present were the lawyers of the four people reinstated in the trial on February 17: Raffaele Mincione, Nicola Squillace, Fabrizio Tirabassi and Monsignor Mauro Carlino.
Also heard were all the representatives of the four organizations that had filed a civil suit: the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), the Institute of Religious Works (IOR), the Secretariat of State and the Authority for Supervision and Financial Information (ASIF). They all demanded that the court reject the requests for nullity filed by the defense.
In addition to the 217 million euros in losses, the civil parties have stressed the legitimacy of their case, highlighting the heavy damage the Holy See has suffered in terms of its administrative credibility.
For his part, the Promoter of Justice, Alessandro Diddi, accused the defense of “trying not to face the problems. “He denounced their strategy of “total disinformation” on the procedural regulations of the Vatican City.