Ex-Auditor General: Pell’s Death “Shrouded in Mystery”

The Vatican’s first auditor-­general, Libero Milone, has described the death of cardinal George Pell as “shrouded in mystery” and revealed he made a heartfelt vow to “get to the truth” for his colleague while paying final respects at his coffin in Rome.

Milone, a former partner with multinational accounting giant Deloitte is the only man left alive of the high-powered trio – led by Pell – who launched Pope Francis’s reforms of the Holy See’s ­corrupt, sclerotic financial systems.

But on June 18, 2017 – 11 days before Pell had to return to Australia to face historic child sexual abuse charges – Milone and his deputy, the late Ferruccio Panicco, a specialist forensic accountant, were sacked in mysterious, violent circumstances.

As Milone prepares for the start of an appeal hearing on Wednesday over his and Panicco’s sackings, the former auditor-general said Pell’s success in overturning his convictions on child-sex offences proved that “some ­judicial systems are efficient and effective”. And amid rumours swirling around the Vatican about Pell’s death and the state of his body post-autopsy, Milone said: “At his funeral, at his casket, I promised him that we would seek out the truth.”

In June 2017, Vatican police raided Milone’s office, bursting in unexpectedly, confiscating electronic equipment and forcing open a safe with axes, crowbars, sledgehammers, chisels, and power-drills.

Milone and Panicco were then detained for hours by Vatican gendarmes. They were accused of spying and threatened with criminal charges if they refused to sign resignation letters. Milone, a Dutch-born UK chartered accountant who came to the job with sterling credentials as former chairman and chief executive of Deloitte in Italy, has not worked since. And Panicco’s medical records were confiscated in the raid, leading to a long delay in ­diagnosis and treatment for what turned out by then to be stage four prostate cancer.

Milone says Ferruccio’s death, on June 21 last year, was hastened by the Vatican’s disgraceful behaviour. He told The Australian that Panicco, recorded a moving video message a few days before he died, imploring Pope Francis to intervene and right the “brutality and injustices” that had destroyed their professional lives and caused suffering to their families.

Continue reading at The Australian