With the Vatican City court due to deliver its verdict in the landmark financial crimes trial in just three weeks, defendant Cardinal Angleo Becciu has once again insisted on his innocence and said he “has faith” he will be acquitted of all charges.
Over the past week, the cardinal and his legal team mounted a full court press in Italian media, with Becciu giving a rare TV interview and his lawyers seeding friendly coverage in local and national newspapers.
Becciu stands accused of embezzlement and abuse of office, conspiracy, as well as perverting the course of justice. But while the cardinal and his team are predicting total exoneration, how confident should they really be about his chances?
In an interview last week with Italy’s state broadcaster, Rai, Cardinal Becciu appeared to present himself as a kind of suffering innocent, patiently awaiting his vindication.
“I continue to proclaim my innocence and I can say that I have never stolen,” Becciu said, suggesting that his personal financial circumstances were themselves a kind of proof of his honesty in office at the Secretariat of State, where he oversaw departmental finances until June of 2018.
“I have never improved my economic position. I don’t have villas, I don’t have houses, I don’t have apartments and my accounts are very, very modest.”
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