The Vatican said Friday it had sold the London building at the center of an ongoing corruption trial to Bain Capital in recent days for 186 million pounds ($223.6 million).
Losses from the deal were covered by Vatican reserve funds, the Vatican said in a statement, adding that donations from the faithful had not been used.
The Vatican signed the contract to sell the luxury building, on Sloane Avenue in Chelsea, London in January.
At the corruption trial held at Vatican City in May, the Vatican’s longtime investment banker, Enrico Crasso, testified he repeatedly voiced concerns about a fund that was investing in a troubled London property, but said the Holy See’s secretariat of state insisted on pursuing the deal even as it lost money.
Crasso said he was very much on the sidelines of the London deal, which was at the center of the Vatican’s big fraud and embezzlement trial. Prosecutors had accused Crasso and nine other people of fleecing the Holy See of tens of millions of euros and of ultimately extorting the Vatican for 15 million euros to get control of the property.
Crasso, who handled the secretariat of state’s investments for 27 years at Credit Suisse and his own firms, was accused of several counts of embezzlement as well as corruption, fraud and extortion. Crasso denied wrongdoing and testified Monday that in his more than quarter-century of work for the Holy See, the investments he managed always turned a profit.
The Vatican corruption trial is ongoing.
($1 = 0.8318 pounds)
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