Vatican City, May 9, 2018 / 09:25 am
The first hearing in a trial against the former president of the Institute of Religious Works (IOR) – known as the "Vatican Bank" – and his lawyer took place today at the Vatican.
Angelo Caloia, 78, president of the IOR from 1989-2009, and his lawyer, Gabriele Liuzzo, 95, were indicted March 5 on accusations of having embezzled money from Vatican real estate sales during the years 2001-2008.
At the hearing May 9, the Vatican Court announced plans to appoint experts who will assess the value of properties that Caloia and Liuzzo are accused of selling at below-market rates – while allegedly making off-paper agreements for higher amounts to pocket the difference. The amount embezzled is estimated to be 57 million euros (68 million dollars).
Caloia was present at the nearly four-hour long hearing, though Liuzzo was absent, citing his age. During the process, the chancellor of the court read the indictment, and preliminary objections and requests for witnesses were assessed, a Vatican communique said.