Cardinal Parolin told CNA at the time, saying that it would not be appropriate for him to respond, “especially taking into account the ongoing legal proceedings.”
Tirabassi is one of five Vatican employees suspended in October, 2019, following a raid conducted by Vatican gendarmes, who seized computers and documents related to financial dealings at the department.
Tirabassi has not since returned to work, and it is unclear whether he remains employed. An April 30 announcement from the Holy See press office confirmed that “individual measures” had been taken against some employees in relation to the ongoing investigations, but did not specify what that might mean.
Last month, CNA reported that tens of millions of euros have been frozen in Swiss banks as part of the investigation into the London property investment. At the end of April, Swiss authorities also forwarded documents to Vatican prosecutors as part of the investigation into investments made by the Secretariat of State.
Torzi and his family were reportedly granted a private audience with Pope Francis in the Domus Santa Marta the day after Christmas, Dec. 26, 2018, as the London property deal was being finalized.
CNA has made numerous requests to the Vatican press office in recent months to clarify why Torzi was afforded this honor, and who arranged the audience; those requests have not been answered.
Torzi also has connections to the British-Italian architect, Luciano Capaldo, who is the sole director of London 60 SA Ltd., a U.K. registered holding company owned by the Secretariat of State, which controls the property at 60 Sloane Avenue in London.
Capaldo has previously served as a director of several companies at which Torzi has also served as a director, or in which Torzi and his companies have had financial interest: Sunset Credit Yield Ltd., Virtualbricks Ltd., Odikon Services Plc. At least one of these, Odikon Services, has been the subject of a lawsuit for fraud in the U.K., and suspended by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority.
At a November press conference, Pope Francis was asked about the London investment. While confirming that he had personally authorized the October raids, he emphasized that proof of corrupt or illegal activity was “not yet clear,” before concluding that “it passed what passed: a scandal,”
“They have done things that do not seem clean,” the pope said.
Ed. note: CNA has removed portions of this story that relied on the reports of others but could not be independently verified.
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