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Cardinal Becciu, five others sentenced to prison at Vatican trial

Venerando Marano, Giuseppe Pignatone and Carlo Bonzano, judges of the Vatican City State court, read their verdict in the trial of Cardinal Angelo Becciu and nine others on charges of financial malfeasance Dec. 16, 2023, in a makeshift courtroom at the Vatican Museums. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican City State criminal court sentenced Cardinal Angelo Becciu to five years and six months in prison on two counts of embezzlement and one of aggravated fraud but found him not guilty of abuse of office or witness tampering.

The 75-year-old cardinal’s attorney, Fabio Veglione, told reporters his client would appeal.

The three-judge panel of the Vatican court handed down the verdicts late Dec. 16. In addition to Cardinal Becciu, five other people were sentenced to jail time ranging from three years to seven years and were ordered to pay the Vatican millions of dollars in damages.

Pending appeal, none of the six people given jail terms were taken into custody.

Only one of the 10 defendants, Msgr. Mauro Carlino, the former secretary of then-Archbishop Becciu when he served as “sostituto,” the No. 3 position in the Vatican Secretariat of State, was found not guilty of all charges.

Enrico Crasso, a long-time investment manager who often worked with the Vatican, received the stiffest sentence: seven years in jail.

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