A powerful figure in the Vatican who was considered the ‘next Pope’ sentenced to prison for real estate corruption
Giovanni Angelo Becciu (55) who was once considered a ‘powerful figure in the Vatican’ and was even mentioned as the next Pope, was sentenced to 5 years and 6 months in prison on charges of real estate corruption.
According to Reuters, the Vatican court ruled on the 16th (local time) that many of the charges against Cardinal Becciu, who was indicted two years ago on charges of embezzlement, abuse of power, and perjury, were found to be true. From 2014 to 2018, the Vatican invested a total of 350 million euros (about 494.7 billion won) to purchase and manage a luxury building in London, England. However, it was sold last year with a loss of more than 140 million euros (about 197.9 billion won). Cardinal Beccciu led this investment. There was a series of criticisms that excessive investment was made in real estate that was not of high value in the first place and that believers’ donations were wasted.
This incident once again reminded us of the Vatican’s chronic problems of being negligent and opaque in its finances. It is considered an issue. Cardinal Becciu said, “I have never stolen a single penny of donations. “He is innocent because he has never enriched me or my family,” he said, continuously denying the charges. After the ruling that day, he immediately announced his intention to appeal.