Vatican on Trial in UK for First Time in History

Lawyers for Raffaele Mincione have claimed that the Vatican’s chief prosecutor may have perverted the course of justice because of the misleading allegations leveled against him in British courts.

The allegations form a central part of the Vatican’s “trial of the century” and relate to a property deal where the Vatican invested £124m in a former Harrods warehouse in Chelsea that was earmarked for development into luxury apartments.

The Vatican claims Mr Mincione defrauded it by inflating the price when his companies sold the property in 2018. Prosecutors have charged Mr Mincione and ten others with offences including fraud, embezzlement and abuse of office. All ten, which include Angelo Becci, the former right-hand man to Pope Francis, deny wrongdoing.

However, Mr Mincione maintains he did not do anything wrong and that the property valuation by independent experts was appropriate. He claims that the Vatican has never disclosed evidence to show it lost money nor of his alleged wrongdoing.

As a result, Mr Mincione has brought a civil action in the UK courts as a “counterblast” to the publicity and to protect his reputation after suffering “prejudice” as a result of the allegations.

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