On Nov. 4, 2019, CNA reported that in 2015 Cardinal Becciu seems to have attempted to obscure on Vatican balance sheets nearly 200 million in loans connected to the transaction by cancelling them out against the value of the property in London, an accounting maneuver prohibited by financial policies approved by Pope Francis in 2014.
That apparent attempt to obscure the loans was detected by the Prefecture for the Economy, then led by Cardinal George Pell. Senior officials at the Prefecture for the Economy told CNA in 2019 that Becciu told Pell the cardinal was "interfering in sovereign business" by looking into the secretariat's dealings with Swiss bank BSI.
BSI was closed by Swiss banking authorities in 2017, following an investigation which found systematic violations of anti-money laundering protections.
On Saturday, Becciu said that Torzi's involvement in the London property deal came only after he had left the secretariat.
In May, CNA reported that Swiss authorities had frozen tens of millions of euros in several bank accounts as part of the Vatican's investigation into the deal.
On June 6, the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported that among the funds frozen were several million under the control of Msgr. Alberto Perlasca.
Perlasca served under Becciu for nearly a decade as head of the administrative office of the secretariat's First Section until July 2019, when he was transferred to the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the Holy See's supreme court. Perlasca worked as a prosecutor at the court, until his office and home were raided by investigators in February.
In an interview with the newspaper Il Giornale on Monday, Perlasca denied that he had any Swiss bank accounts and is "ready to sue anyone who claims otherwise."
Perlasca said that "there was considerable confusion, I hope not knowingly, between personal accounts and accounts of the Secretariat of State, on which, however, I had no signature power since only the superiors had it. I only had the power to sign in conjunction with another superior. I don't remember ever having to use it, because there never was a need. In other words: I couldn't move a single cent."
Perlasca said he personally lodged a complaint against Torzi in 2018, alleging fraud by the businessman.
Corriere also reported that accounts belonging to Mincione have been seized by Swiss authorities as part of the investigation, as well as those under the control of Enrico Crasso, who has also managed Holy See investments through the Centurion Global Fund.
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Crasso told Corriere that the accounts relevant to him were only under his management and not personal accounts. Previously, CNA reported on Centurion's connections to several institutions subject to allegations of money laundering.
On Saturday, Mincione denied any relationship to Torzi beyond working with him as the secretariat's chosen intermediary for the completion of the property purchase.
In an interview with Adnkronos, Mincione said that apart from knowing Torzi slightly as a social acquaintance, his contact with him was limited to Torzi's mandate to act on behalf of the secretariat, given by Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra, who replaced Becciu as sostituto in 2018.
Mincione insisted in the interview that his dealings with the secretariat were all legitimate, and that the Holy See could still realize a profit on the London property.
Mincione also appeared to imply that responsibility for Torzi's involvement could ultimately lay with Pope Francis, saying "there is a picture of Torzi with the pope, which I have. [Torzi] was given this job by Peña Parra, [who was himself] appointed by the pope." It is unclear why or how Mincione would have a photo of Torzi with the pope, especially if the two businessmen were not close.
CNA has previously reported that Torzi, along with his family, were received in a private audience with Pope Francis on December 26, 2018. Repeated requests, over several months, to the Holy See asking how the meeting was arranged have gone unanswered.