The Vatican Court of Appeal Sentences A Priest for Sexual Abuse To 2 Years And 6 Months

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The Vatican Court of Appeal revoked a sentence issued in the first degree and sentenced Father Gabriele Martinelli to 2 years and 6 months for sexual abuse in “a historic sentence,” according to the victim’s lawyer. On the other hand, Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, was sentenced to five and a half years in prison for a real estate scandal.
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Father Martinelli abused another student at the Saint Pius X preseminary when both were minors

“We are very happy with the sentence of the Vatican Court of Appeal. Finally my client has seen years of suffering, of pain, of suffering recognized,” said the defender, who confirmed that Martinelli has been found guilty of a crime of corruption of minors.

The conviction, the first for abuses committed on Vatican territory, is “a historic sentence” and “I hope it can invite even deeper reflection on the issue of abuse in the Church,” Sgrò added.

Martinelli, 30, has been convicted of a series of abuses against another student at the San Pius of St. Peter’s Basilica while they consider whether to follow the priestly path.

The Vatican Court had acquitted him in October 2021 due to statute of limitations and lack of evidence, as well as the other accused, the former rector Enrico Radice, 73, for covering up the abuse that he inflicted on the victim for years, identified as LG and who He left the pre-seminar after the events.

The investigations began in November 2017 after the publication of these events in the book “Peccato originale” by journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi and continued with other reports, such as those on the television program “Le Iene”.

Nuzzi, tried and acquitted by the Vatican Court for lack of territorial jurisdiction in 2016 due to the leak of documents, echoed in his book the complaints of the young Pole Kamil Tadeusz Jarzembowski about what was happening in this seminar.

At the hearings, three former students declared that “an unhealthy atmosphere” dominated the pre-seminary where “sexual jokes” were frequent, while the accused Martinelli was defined as the rector’s trusted person, even surpassing the management team.

One of the former students claimed to have seen Martinelli “touch the private parts” of another student; while another spoke of “touching” the younger ones, but generically, without providing details.

Another moment in the process was when the bishop of the diocese of Como (northern Italy), Oscar Cantoni, head of the Don Folci Opera, manager of the pre-seminary, stated that between 2006 and 2012 the priests at the center were already warning of a ” sexual misconduct” by Martinelli.

The diocese carried out its own investigation and, among other things, recognized compensation of 20,000 euros for the victim, which was never paid, and sanctioned the priest, who was isolated in a monastery in the Alpine region of Valle d’Aosta and later in Como, where he could only speak with his family and superiors.

On the other hand, Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, sentenced to five and a half years in prison for a robbery in a real estate scandal

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Becciu was accused of embezzlement, abuse of office and bribery of witnesses. The Pope had removed whoever became number three in the Vatican from his duties. The religious has been disqualified from holding positions in the Holy See.

The Vatican City Court today sentenced Cardinal Angelo Becciu to five and a half years in prison for a financial scandal when he was the powerful substitute for the Secretariat of State, along with eight other defendants found guilty of a huge hole in the accounts of the Holy thirst.

The president of the Vatican Tribunal, Giuseppe Pignatone, pronounced the sentence this Saturday afternoon after four hours of deliberation, with the cardinal absent from the room. Angelo, a 75-year-old Italian, the first cardinal to be prosecuted in a criminal trial in the Vatican, was sentenced for embezzlement or embezzlement to 5 years and six months in prison, to pay a fine of 8,000 euros and to be “perpetually” disqualified from exercising any public office in the Holy See.

A large accounting hole

The verdict came after two and a half years of a convoluted trial and 85 hearings and in the midst of a notorious media expectation, especially due to the former weight of Angelo, who between 2011 and 2018 was the “number 3” Vatican, the powerful substitute of Affairs Generals of the Secretary of State.

The scandal broke out in 2019, when the purchase of a building in London by the Secretariat of State was revealed, which led to a highly speculative operation by generating a hole of at least 139 million euros in the accounts of the Holy See. The building, a former headquarters of the Harrods galleries on the exclusive London street of Sloane Avenue, had cost the Vatican about 350 million euros but was later sold for 186 million pounds (about 214 million euros).

However, that acquisition ended up being used to extort the Vatican and demonstrating the lack of transparency and irregularities in the Holy See’s accounts. In addition, during the process other financial crimes allegedly committed by Angelo emerged, such as the donations of 125,000 euros that the cardinal deposited in the account of an association linked to Ozieri’s Sardinian Caritas, which at that time was chaired by one of his brothers. As well as the payment of €575,000 to Cecilia Marogna, a woman who was hired for presenting herself as an expert in diplomatic affairs and secret services and who allegedly helped the Holy See free the Colombian nun kidnapped in Mali.

Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu is “prepared for appeal”

The promoter of justice or Vatican prosecutor, Alessandro Diddi, had demanded seven years and three months in prison for the cardinal but, although the court finally reduced that sentence to five and a half years, he expressed his “satisfaction” because in these years he has not accused to innocents “This afternoon I know that much of our work has been well instructed,” he told the media after hearing the sentence.

The cardinal, for years one of the most influential men in the Roman Curia , has insisted through his lawyers on his innocence and has advanced that he will appeal the sentence, since he perceives in the accusation Vatican “machinations” to defenestrate him.

Nine convictions and one acquittal

However, Angelo Becciu has not been the only one affected by this sentence on the eve of Christmas, but eight of the ten defendants have been convicted , all except his former secretary, Mauro Carlino, the only one acquitted in the process.

The heaviest sentence, seven and a half years in prison, was imposed on Fabrizio Tirabassi, an employee of the Administrative Office of the Vatican Secretariat of State. And the minor ones, heavy fines of 1,750 euros, have been for the former leaders of the Vatican Financial Supervision and Information Authority, the Swiss president and lawyer René Brülhart and the former director Tommaso Di Ruzza.

The sentences hung especially on the financial brokers and mediators of the real estate operation, accused of profiting and defrauding the Holy See. Enrico Crasso was sentenced to seven years in prison and a 10,000 euro fine; Raffaele Mincione to five and a half years; Nicola Squillace to one year and ten months in prison; and Gianluigi Torzi to six years and nine months, all of them prohibited from holding public office. While businesswoman Cecilia Marogna, Angelo’s advisor and presented in Vatican circles as an expert in diplomacy, she has also been sentenced to three years and nine months in prison, with a “temporary” ban on holding public office.

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