Torzi arrested on London palace scam accusations
Last Friday, Molise financier Gianluigi Torzi was arrested by the Vatican authorities in connection with the affaire of the London building on Sloan Avenue. The charges against him are of extortion, fraud and money laundering.
The man is alleged to have played an active role in the sale of the building located on Sloan Avenue, an investment recommended to the former chief of the Vatican Secretariat of State, by the Pometino businessman Raffaele Mincione, who actually lives in the City.
As reported by Ansa, the Vatican's Office of the Promoter of Justice allegedly discovered, in connection with that sale, a series of companies involved in the deal, also participated by representatives of the Secretariat of State. Torzi’s accusations would face him to a sentence of twelve years of prison. The man is currently set free after being held at the Gendarmerie Corps Barracks.
According to the prosecution reconstruction, Torzi proposed himself to solve the stalling situation in reference with the participation in the Mincione's Luxembourg fund Athena, a participation financed with the money from the Obolo di S.Pietro managed by the Vatican Secretariat.
The evidence of Torzi's active role in the Sloan Avenue building affair is witnessed by a company with which the purchase, on behalf of the Vatican, has been triangulated. The company in question, Gutt SA, is partly owned by Torzi.
Torzi decide to withhold a thousand shares without informing the Vatican. These shares were the ones with voting rights, having turned to the Vatican only 30 thousand shares without voting rights.
In doing so Torzi prevented the Vatican itself from gain possession of the building.
There has been an exhausting negotiation between some representatives of the Secretariat of State and Torzi, during which the financer would relaunch the compensation required for returning the palace to the Holy See, starting from three, up to thirty million euros.
When, through the mediation of Monsignor Mauro Carlino, the Vatican would convince Torzi to close the transaction at 15 million, the financer would change his mind, putting in place the extortion. (cm)
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