Vatican court rejects motions to dismiss in hospital case

Published 8:14 am Wednesday, July 19, 2017

VATICAN CITY — A Vatican tribunal rejected attempts by two former executives of the pope’s children’s hospital to dismiss an embezzlement case, asserting Tuesday it could prosecute them on charges they diverted nearly a half-million euros in hospital donations to renovate a top cardinal’s penthouse.

Lawyers for former hospital president Giuseppe Profiti and ex-treasurer Massimo Spina argued that the Vatican court had no jurisdiction to prosecute activities of a hospital foundation that was located in Italy, not the Vatican.

But tribunal president Judge Paolo Papanti-Pelletier rejected the motion as the trial opened and set a new round of hearings for Sept. 7-9.

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Profiti has said the funds he used from the Bambino Gesu (Baby Jesus) hospital foundation to renovate Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone’s apartment were an investment, since he intended to use the flat for future fundraising events for the hospital.

Bertone agreed to host such parties, saying he would take care to ensure that “third parties” — not the foundation — would pay for any renovations needed. He subsequently said he paid 300,000 euros of his own money for the work because he couldn’t find anyone else to pay, and didn’t know that the foundation had also paid 422,000 euros to the same builders.