Title: Becciu denies bid to influence Pell trial
Pope Francis authorised spending up to one million euros ($A1.5 million) to free a Colombian nun kidnapped by militants in Mali, a cardinal has testified, revealing previously secret papal approval to hire a UK security firm to find the nun and secure her freedom.
Cardinal Angelo Becciu also responded to claims against him concerning Cardinal George Pell, who left his job as the Vatican’s financial czar in 2017 to face historical sex abuse charges in his native Australia, for which he was ultimately acquitted.
Pell clashed repeatedly with Becciu during his time at the Vatican and has repeated Italian media claims that Becciu approved money transfers from the Vatican to Australia that in some way aided in the sex abuse prosecution against him.
Becciu denied accusations of having used $A2.3 million to influence the proceedings.
Becciu on Thursday produced two letters to reject the claims: one from the current secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, explaining that the 1.46 million euros that was wired to Australia was to pay for a domain name “.catholic”.
And the other, a September 11, 2015 letter authorising that expenditure, signed by none other than Pell.