December will be a decisive month for Cardinal Becciu as his sentence is expected to be issued before the 16th.
The cardinal is among those accused of carrying out a real estate operation in London that caused the Vatican to lose millions of dollars in payments to intermediaries and in the sale and purchase of a building in the city. The Vatican has not given exact figures, but it is estimated that the sale and purchase operation alone could have generated about $150 million in losses.
At the time of the operation, Cardinal Becciu was the Vatican substitute for the Secretary of State. The prosecutor has asked for him to receive a 7-year 3-month prison sentence, a fine of about $11,000, that $15 million be confiscated as restitution and that he be banned from holding public office in the Vatican.
The charges against the cardinal include embezzlement, abuse of office and pressuring one of the main witnesses—all of which he strongly denies.
This is the first time in history that a civil court composed of lay people has tried a cardinal on Vatican territory. Pope Francis has already taken some action regarding Cardinal Becciu. The Pope has relieved him of his duties as a cardinal, including, for example, the possibility of participating in a future conclave.