Ex-head of Vatican bank goes on trial for embezzlement
The former president of the Vatican bank has gone on trial on charges he and his lawyer embezzled 57 million euros ($68 million) from Vatican real estate sales, the latest effort by Vatican prosecutors to prosecute shady financial deals.
Angelo Caloia appeared in the Vatican courtroom Wednesday; his 95-year-old lawyer and co-defendant, Gabriele Liuzzo, was absent, citing his age.
During the nearly four-hour hearing, the court revealed it planned to appoint technical experts to assess the value of the real estate sold, amid accusations that the apartments were sold at below-market rates and then resold at market rates, with the defendants pocketing the difference.
During the investigation, Vatican authorities froze 17 million euros ($20 million) in the defendants’ Vatican bank accounts, and had another 10 million euros ($12 million) frozen in Liuzzo’s Swiss accounts, the court heard.