For the first time in history, a Vatican prosecutor has proposed maximum sentencing on a cardinal of the Catholic Church.
In 2019, the Vatican launched an investigation into Cardinal Angelo Becciu and 9 other defendants over the mismangement of Vatican funds, specifically including charges of money laundering, embezzlement and an allegedly fradulent investment of over 350 million dollars.
Now, nearly three years into the trial, the Vatican prosecutor has asked that Cardinal Becciu be sentenced to 7 years and 3 months in prison due to his alleged involvement in financial misconduct.
In addition to this sentence, the Cardinal is also facing a fine of over $11,000 and permanent disqualification from public office. This applies to a person who is sentenced to imprisonment for a period of more than 5 years.
Becciu, a native of Italy, was created a cardinal by Pope Francis in 2018 and formerly held the position of the substitute for General Affairs of the Vatican Secretariat of State, equivalent to the Pope's Chief of Staff.
Cardinal Becciu has always maintained his innocence throughout the investigation and continues to do so.
The trial has been suspended for the summer and will resume in September. But the judge's final verdict is not expected before the end of the year.