Pope Accused of Illegally Wiretapping Phones

The Pope faces UN investigation over his personal authorisation of allegedly unlawful wiretaps during a Vatican investigation into the “corrupt” sale of a £300 million central London property.

Lawyers for Raffaele Mincione, a British financier accused of defrauding the Vatican, have filed a complaint to the UN about alleged abuses committed during the trial by Pope Francis, the spiritual leader of 1.4 billion Catholics worldwide.

Rodney Dixon KC, a leading human rights barrister, has accused the Pope of personally authorising unlawful wiretaps of Mr Mincione’s phone during the investigation into alleged wrongdoing at the Vatican.

During the trial, it emerged that Pope Francis himself handed powers to investigators allowing them to tap phones, intercept emails and arrest anyone they wanted to without approval from a judge. The powers were based on “rescritti” – ancient laws that the Pope could use as divine monarch of the Vatican.

In the complaint to Prof Margaret Satterthwaite, the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Mr Dixon listed the Pope as a “perpetrator” of human rights abuses.

“This unreasoned authorisation to prosecutors by an absolute monarch greenlit the undertaking of surveillance without the articulation of definite reasons, ongoing judicial or other independent and impartial supervision, or a mechanism by which to challenge the implementation of the surveillance before an independent and impartial tribunal,” said Mr Dixon.

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