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Woman with links to deposed cardinal to go on trial, Vatican says

Vatican City

The embezzlement trial of a woman with links to deposed Cardinal Angelo Becciu will start soon, Vatican judicial officials said on Monday, but it was not yet clear if the cardinal will also be tried.

Cecilia Marogna, 39, had worked for Becciu, a former top Vatican official who was dismissed in September by Pope Francis, who accused him of embezzlement and nepotism.

A statement from the office of the Vatican’s Promoter of Justice said that a trial would be starting “imminently” at which Marogna would face charges of “embezzlement in complicity with others”. It was the first time the Vatican has spoken of a trial in the case.

The statement did not name the other people it said were accomplices and a Vatican spokesman said he had no further details.

Marogna has denied wrongdoing and a call made to her cellphone on Monday was not answered. Becciu previously has denied all wrongdoing and on Monday his lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The judicial statement said it had revoked an arrest warrant issued last year so that Marogna could take part in the trial as a free person. Italian police arrested her on Oct. 13 in Milan under an international warrant issued by the Vatican magistrates. She was released on parole on Oct. 30.

After Becciu’s dismissal on Sept. 24, Marogna gave interviews to Italian media in which she said Becciu gave her 500,000 euros ($587,350) to run a “parallel diplomacy” to help missionaries in conflict zones.

Her purported work for the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, where Becciu held the No. 2 position until 2018, had not been previously known.

Marogna, who like Becciu is from Sardinia, has said the funds she allegedly received went through a company she started in Slovenia.

Becciu has also been caught up in a separate Vatican scandal revolving around the use of Church money to invest in a luxury building in London. An investigation into that deal is continuing. Becciu has denied all wrongdoing in that deal.

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