Pope ‘authorised hundreds of thousands’ to pay randsome for kidnapped nun

A second high-ranking Holy See official advised a Vatican courtroom on Friday that Pope Francis had authorised spending lots of of 1000’s of euros in ransom funds to attempt to free a nun who was kidnapped by al-Qaida-linked militants in Mali.

Archbishop Edgar Pena Parra, the Holy See’s the third most senior Vatican determine, advised the tribunal that he had sought, and obtained Francis’ approval to wire the cash quickly after he took up his duties because the “substitute” within the secretariat of state in late 2018.

Pena Parra was answering questions for a second day Friday after being referred to as by protection attorneys representing the ten individuals on trial for a bunch of alleged monetary crimes.

One tangent of the Vatican trial considerations €575,000 wired from the Vatican’s Swiss Checking account to a Slovenian-based entrance firm owned by Cecilia Marogna, a self-styled safety analyst who was employed in 2016 by Pena Parra’s predecessor, Cardinal Angelo Becciu, as an out of doors guide.

Becciu advised the courtroom final 12 months that he had sought Marogna’s recommendation in 2017 following the kidnapping of Sister Gloria Cecilia Narvaez by al-Qaida within the Islamic Maghreb, which has bankrolled its insurgency by kidnapping Westerners. Throughout her captivity in Mali, the group periodically confirmed Narvaez on video asking for the Vatican’s assist.

Becciu advised the courtroom that Francis had licensed spending as much as 1 million euros to free the Colombian nun. Becciu stated he and Marogna had travelled to London to satisfy with, and subsequently rent, the British safety agency Inkerman to seek out Narvaez and safe her freedom. She was in the end launched in October 2021.

Of their indictment request, prosecutors alleged a double fee: They stated some £500,000 British kilos, or the then-equivalent of €575,000, had been despatched to Inkerman’s Barklays Checking account for the operation. Individually, they listed 9 funds from the Vatican’s Swiss Checking account totaling €575,000 despatched to Marogna’s Logsic DOO firm from 20 December 2018 to eight July 2019. 

Citing Slovenian financial institution information, prosecutors allege that Marogna used the cash to purchase high-end luxurious gadgets and go on trip.

Each Becciu and Marogna are accused of embezzlement, expenses they each deny.