Cardinal in Vatican fraud trial: My conscience is ‘tranquil’

VATICAN CITY (AP) — A fraud and embezzlement trial involving mismanagement of the Holy See’s investments has begun in Vatican City, with a once-powerful cardinal who is among the 10 defendants declaring he remains “obedient” to Pope Francis, who fired him from a top post.

Cardinal Angelo Becciu is one of two defendants who attended the largely procedural seven-hour session Tuesday. Afterward, he told reporters “I feel tranquil in my conscience.″

The prosecution says the Holy See was bled of tens of millions of dollars in donated money through bad investments, deals with shady money managers and apparent favors. They face prison sentences, fines or both if convicted. The trial resumes Oct. 5.

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