Explosive claims emerge claiming George Pell trial was rigged

Explosive claims emerge claiming George Pell trial was rigged

A senior Italian Cardinal has been accused of using $1.14 million of Vatican funds to pay witnesses in Cardinal George Pell's sexual abuse trial to secure a conviction against his rival.

Italian media are reporting that allegedly Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu is suspected of wiring money to witnesses testifying in Cardinal Pell's trial to ensure an aggressive testimony.

This allegedly occurred during the 2019 trial after Pell was accused of molesting choir boys in the 1990s. Pell was convicted, sentenced, imprisoned and later cleared of the charges.

It's alleged that this was a ploy to derail Cardinal Pell's exposure of Cardinal Becciu, where a "huge enmity" is reported between the pair.

The 72-year-old is also allegedly suspected of pushing Vatican funds to charities and businesses run by his three brothers.

La Repubblica and Corriere della Sera have quoted leaked documents that Vatican investigators suspect Cardinal Becciu of funnelling the money to Melbourne Supreme Court witnesses.

Investigators allege that Cardinal Becciu hoped the money would ruin Pell's transparency program which would have exposed Becciu's management of Vatican funds.

Cardinal Becciu has strongly denied the allegations, saying, “I categorically deny interfering in any way in the trial of Cardinal Pell.”

The "huge enmity" between the pair initially started as Pell had been assigned by Pope Francis to clean up Vatican accounting practices, but his attempts were stopped by Cardinal Becciu, as he held an influential role investing millions of euros of Catholic donations.

Cardinal Becciu was deputy secretariat of state between 2011 and 2018 before Pope Francis stripped him of the role and put him in charge of running the Hole See's department for making saints.

Last month, the Pope removed him from that role and took away his right to elect popes as Vatican investigators have begun to sort through Becciu's secretariat of state spending record. 

Cardinal Pell also made a comment that Cardinal Becciu felt implied he was being dishonest in front of the Pope.

Following Cardinal Becciu’s sacking as secretariat, Pell had said: “The Holy Father was elected to clean up Vatican finances.

“He plays a long game and is to be thanked and congratulated on recent developments.”

Cardinal Becciu protested, saying, “I couldn’t allow him to say something like that.

“From the time I was a child, I had always been taught by my parents to be honest.”