The interrogation of the accused official for the financial scandal The oil investment of the Holy See in Angola did not go through “because there were no financial guarantees”. This was underlined by Fabrizio Tirabassi, a former official of the administrative office of the Vatican secretariat of state, accused in the trial for the financial scandal linked to the sale of the London building in Sloane Avenue, during his interrogation before the Court. The prosecution challenges him with the crimes of corruption, extortion, embezzlement, fraud and abuse of office. In particular, Tirabassi said that between the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013, Cardinal Becciu asked Msgr. Alberto Perlasca to evaluate the proposal of the Angolan businessman Mosquito that Becciu knew from the time he was nuncio to Angola as benefactor of the nunciature itself. “The prosecutor Alessandro Diddi recalled at this point that the then secretary of state Tarcisio Bertone also said evaluate “the question of the oil field in its entirety.” Tirabassi, replying to Diddi, then said that it had been thought of acquiring 5 percent of the Sonagol company that was in charge of the field. Mosquito asked the Secretariat of State to intervene as a financier for this five percent “. At this point the financier Enrico Crasso intervenes, reported Tirabassi, in charge of evaluating the feasibility of the investment. The latter interested Credit Suisse in London, which proposed the financier Raffaele Mincione as financial manager “because – said Tirabassi – he is also an expert in the oil field”. For the related feasibility study carried out by Mincione, Tirabassi said that the “Holy See advanced $ 500,000”. All this happened at the end of 2013. The deal, however, did not go through because, as reported by Tirabassi, “at the end of the verification Mincione reported that there were no financial guarantees for this deal”. “If there had been guarantees – commented Tirabassi – probably the matter would have been brought to the Pope’s signature”. And precisely the coincidence of the interest in the affair practically concomitant with the Pope’s encyclical on the environment Laudato si ‘for Tirabassi “was a difficult thing to sustain”.
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