George Pell’s main Vatican rival is accused of bribing the man who gave evidence at Pell’s trial

george pell arrives in rome

UPDATE: On January 10th 2023, Cardinal George Pell died at Salvator Mundi International Hospital in Rome, Italy. He passed at the age of 81 from complications following hip replacement surgery.

The information in this article was sourced from the Sydney Morning Herald’s article “Lawyer denies Pell’s accuser ever received money for evidence” by Adam Cooper, published October 5th 2020. 

Italian newspapers La Repubblica and Corriere della Sera have reported Cardinal George Pell’s rival in the Vatican, Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, is suspected of arranging bribes to secure the sex assault conviction against Pell.

Corriere della Sera quoted a dossier of leaked documents including wire transfers linked to Cardinal Becciu. Cardinal Becciu is said to have wired €700,000 ($1.14 million) to recipients in Australia to ensure evidence against Pell.

Becciu has denied the allegations. Last month, he resigned from the Vatican over his alleged involvement in another financial scandal.

Becciu and Pell’s rivalry dates back to 2016 when Cardinal Pell, who was the Vatican’s treasurer, ordered an audit of the Holy See’s finances which caused a major embarrassment to Becciu and his supporters. 

Pell’s barrister, Robert Richter QC, has called for an international investigation into the new allegations. He said he wants to have the “money trails” followed properly.

“I am treating these reports as requiring a proper investigation by all fiscal authorities to track the money coming to Australia,” Mr Richter said.

Viv Waller, the lawyer that represented the man who accused Cardinal Pell of sexually assaulting him in the 1990s, has rejected the rumour her client is connected to these allegations.

“My client denies any knowledge or receipt of any payments,” Ms Waller said.

“He won’t be commenting further in response to these allegations.”

Kelso Lawyers will continue to keep our readers updated as new information comes in.

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Image: ABC

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