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Vatican: 217 million euros lost in the London building

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Vatican: 217 million euros lost in the London building

A financial “hole” of 217 million euros. This (for now) is the result of the purchase of the London property, Sloane Avenue 60, bought in 2014 (first half, then all in 2018) by the Secretariat of State, and now being sold to Bain Capital. The estimated loss until recently was 100 million pounds, now much higher. The figure emerged during the hearing in the Vatican in the trial that sees the accused financiers, monsignors, officials and even Cardinal Angelo Becciu, who in 2014 started the real estate operation. For a year now, the Pope has removed the management of the funds from the Secretariat of State, concentrating them (together with other entities) in the Apsa and under the control of the Secretariat for the Economy, led by the prefect Juna Guerrero Alves.

The luxury palace bought (in two phases) for 350 million. Close to the sale

The loss of 217 million euros was quantified by the Promoter of Justice (the Vatican prosecutor) Alessandro Diddi. The prestigious property on Sloane Avenue had been purchased for an indicated cost of over 350 million, and carried out in two phases, and which involved the financiers Raffaele Mincione and Gianluigi Torzi. The trial, which began in July, is still blocked on procedural issues: in the last session the lawyer of the IOR, the injured party, intervened, supporting the reasons of the ‘bank’ for filing a civil action. The IOR, the lawyer recalled, citing an interrogation in the proceedings of the trial, every year “turned” its profits to the Pope, for several years they amounted to 50 million, which then – according to the lawyer – made them available to the Secretariat of State.

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On Tuesday 1 March, the order of Pignatone on requests for nullity

The president of the Pignatone Court, after more than three hours of discussion in which he also listened to the former president of the Constitutional Court Giovanni Maria Flick who defends the injured party Apsa, postponed the hearing to Tuesday, the session in which he should issue the order with which it will be decided on the many requests for invalidity advanced by the defenses and therefore, possibly, to enter the merit phase of the process. The defenses of some defendants, including Domenico Aiello who assists Nicola Squillace, reiterated the objections of nullity of the trial and stigmatized the modus operandi of the office of the Promoter of Justice. Flick, defender of APSA, underlined instead the legitimacy of the Administration of the patrimony of the Holy See, led by Nunzio Galantino, to be a civil party in the process. “The investment in a property is made for the first time in 2014 – said Flick – but the property is shielded in a financial structure preventing Apsa from carrying out its prerogatives”. The preliminary phase – added the former minister – “has lasted for seven months and a day. The Vatican Authority was at the disposal of the accused. The parties were able to present their concerns, it is time to go further “.

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