Trial at the Holy See

December 21, 2021
Video leaked from the interrogation of Msgr. Alberto Perlasca

The fifth hearing in the case concerning alleged financial crimes involving Secretariat of State funds lasted ten minutes. Advocates of justice explained that only one of the four suspects, whose remand for trial was overturned, was available for questioning.

The fifth hearing, since July 27, of the Vatican trial over the alleged illegal use of Holy See funds lasted ten minutes. “It is clear that we are on an open site,” began the president of the Vatican Tribunal, Giuseppe Pignatone, by setting the next session for January 25, 2022.

It may then be possible to communicate a date for the convening of the trial or the possible rejection presented by the Promoter of Justice concerning the four suspects whose arraignment had been annulled, since they had not been interviewed in preliminary phase.

“Everything will be started from scratch, in the light of what is new,” said the president of the Vatican Tribunal, explaining that in two months, the intention is to “begin processing,” and go to the heart of a trial that has become bogged down in procedural skirmishes since July.

Today's postponement is motivated by the fact that “to date, only one of the suspects invited to appear has responded to the summons and made himself available for questioning,” explained Gianluca Perone, the promoter of Applied Justice.

He also said that “we plan to file new applications for remand or dismissal by January 20.” In the absence of these documents, “we can only postpone,” said President Pignatone. The next hearing, on January 25, he said, “will once again be a simple transit hearing. I hope it will be the last.”

Mr. Perone said he delivered a memo at the hearing, listing the references and the exact location of documents the defense believes are missing. He further specified: “It is recalled that all the documents that are sources of evidence have been filed and can be found in the archives of the trial. To date, however, none of the defendants have requested to see the court copies.”

“By mid-January 2022, the Office of the Promoter of Justice – as stated further in the note - will complete the transcripts pursuant to the provisions of the Court Order of October 6 and, on the basis of the investigations carried out and of the documentation acquired, will make decisions regarding applications for a subpoena or dismissal of charges under the Order.”

Judge Pignatone announced that he had ordered the full transcription of the audio-video recordings of the accused’s interrogations. In the first place, that of Bishop Alberto Perlasca, the time of the events, head of the administrative office of the first section of the Secretariat of State, today considered as the “key witness.” The deadline is January 10.

This order is all the more urgent since seven video extracts, taken from three interrogations of Msgr. Alberto Perlasca, were published on the Corriere della Sera website on December 3, 2021. These leaks are taken from three interrogations conducted on the premises of the Vatican gendarmerie in the presence of Alessandro Diddi, the Promoter of Justice.