And finally… render unto Caesar

A cardinal’s trial began this week at the Vatican – the first in modern history.

Giovanni Angelo Becciu, 73, was an influential adviser to the Pope and head of the  “saint-making” secretariat at the Vatican but is now at the centre of a €350m million fraud case.

He is accused of spending the huge sum, which belonged to the Church, on a botched property deal in Chelsea.

An investigation was launched on how the Vatican lost the money after buying a former Harrods warehouse in Sloane Avenue, Chelsea, in 2014. The cardinal was formerly in charge of donations at the department dealing with Vatican funds.

He was sacked by the Pope last September.

He stands trial with nine other defendants accused of crimes including extortion, embezzlement and money laundering.

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