The financial crimes regulator has passed information to police about allegations of money being transferred from the Vatican in relation to the trial of Cardinal George Pell. Source: ABC News.
Liberal senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells used a Senate Estimates hearing to ask AUSTRAC chief executive Nicole Rose about media reports that hundreds of thousands of euros had been transferred “allegedly from Vatican funds to person or persons in Australia”.
Ms Rose confirmed AUSTRAC has looked into the matter and provided information to the Australian Federal Police and to Victoria Police. She said they were the only agencies AUSTRAC had referred the matter to.
Earlier this month, Italian newspapers reported unsubstantiated allegations that Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu was suspected of wiring 700,000 euros ($1.14 million), to Australia to help secure evidence against Cardinal Pell in his sexual abuse trial.
This week, Cardinal Becciu’s lawyer reiterated that his client strongly denied any interference with the trial.
In a statement to the ABC, Fabio Viglione said Cardinal Becciu is “compelled to reiterate vigorously that he has never interfered with” Cardinal Pell’s trial in any way.
A lawyer for the former choirboy who gave evidence against Cardinal Pell in his 2018 trial denied her client received any payment.
Police handed information on claims Vatican sent $1m to Australia in relation to George Pell sexual abuse trial (By Jack Snape and Jade Macmillan, ABC News)
Cops eye George Pell case cash transfers from the Vatican (The Australian)