Vatican City, Mar 26, 2021 / 13:00 pm America/Denver (CNA).
A British judge has reversed the seizure of the accounts of an Italian broker under investigation by the Vatican, saying that Vatican prosecutors withheld and misrepresented information in their request to the UK court.
Judge Tony Baumgartner of Southwark Crown Court overturned another judge’s decision to seize the British-based accounts of Gianluigi Torzi, as had been requested by Vatican prosecutors.
Torzi was arrested by the Vatican last summer on charges of two counts of embezzlement, two counts of fraud, extortion, and money laundering.
Torzi is under investigation by the Vatican after he helped broker the Secretariat of State’s controversial purchase of a London property development. The Vatican alleges that in doing so, Torzi was part of a conspiracy to defraud the secretariat of millions of euros.
In his 42-page ruling, made public this week and first reported by the Catholic investigative news website The Pillar, Baumgartner wrote that the Vatican’s “non-disclosures and misrepresentations are so appalling that the ultimate sanction” to reverse the seizure of the assets was appropriate.