VATICAN CITY (AP) — Vatican prosecutors on Monday demanded a three-year jail sentence for the former president of the Vatican’s children’s hospital, who is charged with embezzlement for using donations to renovate a cardinal’s apartment.
The Vatican said in a statement that prosecutors also asked for a finding of not guilty against a second defendant, the hospital’s former treasurer, citing insufficient proof. Verdicts could come as early as Saturday, when the trial resumes.
Giuseppe Profiti, the former president of the Bambino Gesu pediatric hospital, has defended spending 422,000 euros ($506,000) in donations to the hospital’s foundation to renovate the penthouse apartment of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the retired Vatican No. 2. Profiti testified that the investment would have brought in even more donations during fundraisers at the apartment.
In formulating his request, Vatican prosecutor Roberto Zanotti said that Profit, in his role as a public office holder, had “committed the vice of excessive power.”
The prosecutor also demanded that Profiti pay a 5,000-euro ($5,870) fine and be banned from public office for life.
The hospital’s current president, Mariella Enoc, testified Monday that revelations the funds had been used for Bertone’s apartment caused “very grave damage” to the hospital’s foundation. Enoc said once she took over, she never held fundraisers at the cardinal’s apartment “because it’s not my style to raise money by holding dinners at the houses of cardinals or other personalities.”