The Vatican State Court announced on Monday that it will prosecute an Italian woman suspected of “orderly embezzlement” but has abandoned her extradition request from Italy.
Cecilia Marujna, the young Italian chancellor entrusted by the Holy See with half a million euros on behalf of Slovenia, was arrested in mid-October in Milan, under an international court order issued by Interpol at the request of Vatican investigators.
The revelation in the Italian press of this mysterious woman, dubbed “The Cardinal’s Lady” or “The Lady of 500,000 Euros,” helped heighten suspicions about Cardinal Angelo Picchio, a high-ranking bishop who was suddenly expelled on September 24. Written by Pope Francis on suspicion of embezzlement.
According to a statement issued by the Vatican Prosecutor, issued on Monday, the trial of Cecilia Marojna is “imminent”. The Vatican judge had initially demanded his extradition, but he changed his mind. The Italian, who was imprisoned briefly in Milan in October, will thus appear at liberty before the Vatican court.
The brief Vatican statement made no mention of Cardinal Piccio’s involvement in the future trial.
A series of document leaks in the Italian press, after leave to the influential Cardinal, revealed the existence and troubled role of Cecilia Marojna.
The chancellor admitted in interviews with the press that she received half a million euros from the Secretariat of State (the central government of the Vatican) for services of “informal diplomacy” between 2013 and 2018.
The 39-year-old said she was paid as a mediator for the release of kidnapped priests and sisters in Africa and Asia.
This young woman is from Sardinia, just like Cardinal Pisio, 72, who made the decision to pay her wages when he was second in the Foreign Office, at the head of the Vatican pyramid.
Several media outlets received an anonymous envelope with his Slovenian company accounts, such as the Italian TV investigation show “Le Iene”, which went to Ljubljana to photograph a simple mailbox.
The offer showed that around 200,000 euros were spent on luxury goods, for example 12,000 euros for an armchair. “After a lot of work, I think I have the right to buy myself a chair!” Cecilia Marojna had rebelled and presented herself as a victim of plots in the Vatican.