On June 5, Vatican officials arrested Torzi for his role in the London property deal, charging him with “extortion, embezzlement, aggravated fraud and money laundering.”
Torzi was granted bail on June 15, following questioning about the sale and purchase of the building at 60 Sloane Avenue.
Tirabassi was 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.
CNA has previously reported that Tirabassi was appointed a director of a company owned by Torzi while the businessman was finalizing the Vatican’s purchase of the London property.
According to corporate filings, Tirabassi, who was responsible for managing financial investments for the secretariat, was appointed a director of Gutt SA, the Luxembourg company owned by Torzi and used to transfer ownership of the building between Mincione and the Vatican.
Filings for Gutt SA with the Luxembourg Registre de Commerce et des Sociétés show that Tirabassi was appointed a director on Nov. 23, 2018 and removed by a filing sent on Dec. 27. At the time of his appointment as director, Tirabassi’s business address was listed as the Secretariat of State in Vatican City.
In May this year, CNA asked Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin if he was aware of the appointment, and whether he considered it appropriate for an official at the secretariat to accept such a position. CNA also asked if officials at the secretariat are generally permitted to accept such positions.
Parolin told CNA at the time that it would not be appropriate for him to respond, “especially taking into account the ongoing legal proceedings.”
Earlier this month, Crasso defended his stewardship of Church funds controlled by the Secretariat of State, saying that the investments he had made were “no secret.”