ROME ( Associated Press) – The Vatican announced Friday it has finalized the sale of a London property, the center of a criminal trial in the courts of the Holy See, to a former Harrods store for £186 million. ($223 million) was received.
The Vatican Secretariat of State invested about 350 million euros in the building and fees and commissions, which is the center of charges of fraud, embezzlement and extortion of 10 people who were prosecuted.
The Holy See said it sold the warehouse at 60 Sloane Avenue to Bain Capital, the private investment firm, after a lengthy process that included 16 initial offers and relied on Bain Capital’s experience. Republican was founded by US Senator Mitt Romney. ,
The scandal that rocked the Vatican for three years prompted Pope Francis to strip the Secretariat of State of its €600 million property portfolio, which operated essentially as a sovereign wealth fund independent of rigid internal or external controls.
Statements made at trial revealed that the office’s investment decisions were essentially made by one individual, Monsignor Alberto Perlasca, and confirmed by his boss, Secretary No. 2, with minimal expertise or outside financial advice.
Perlaska was initially the prime suspect in the investigation, but began cooperating with prosecutors. He is now a key witness for prosecutors and has been given the status of an affected party in the case, with compensation to be paid in the event of a guilty verdict.
Money from the Secretariat of State is now managed by another Vatican office, the APSA, under the authority of a Ministry of Finance, after Francis decided to sell the building in view of the financial and reputational damage caused to the Holy See. Oversees sales in London. for preliminary agreement.
In a statement on Friday, the Vatican said damages in the deal – which prosecutors have estimated at more than 200 million euros – have been absorbed by the Secretariat’s reserve funds. He insisted that the loss did not affect St Peter’s Denarius, who collects annual donations from the faithful for the pope’s charitable works and to help finance the Vatican bureaucracy.