Woman who received 455,000 in Vatican cash from Cardinal Angelo Becciu - recently fired for misuse of funds - denies being his mistress as she is arrested in Italy
A woman who was wired almost half a million pounds by a cardinal who is under investigation for corruption has been arrested in Italy.
Cecilia Moragna, 39, known in Italy as the 'cardinal's woman', was arrested in Milan on Tuesday under a warrant issued by the Vatican, local media reported.
The arrest comes two weeks it was revealed that Cardinal Angelo Becciu, sacked last month amid claims of conspiracy, had wired 455,000 of Vatican funds to a Slovenian company calledLogsic that she controls.
Moragna has previously denied being 72-year-old Becciu's mistress, saying that she is a security and espionage expert paid by Becciu to negotiate the release of kidnapped priests and nuns in Africa and Asia.
But copies of Logsic's accounts that were sent anonymously to Italian media outlets revealed that at least half of the money had been spent on luxury items including handbags and designer clothes.
Among the bills were 2,000 spent in Prada, 7,300 in Chanel, and almost 11,000 spent in designer storePoltrona Frau on an armchair.
其中有2000 GB花在普拉达，7300 GB花在香奈儿，近11000 GB花在设计师商店Poltrona Frau的扶手椅上。
'I think I have the right to buy myself an armchair after all that work!' Marogna said, while claiming she is an innocent victim of internal Vatican power struggles.
Appearing before journalists in early October with her face hidden behind large sunglasses, Marogna confirmed that the sum of 500,000 euros had been paid to her Ljubljana-based company.
The cardinal authorised the payments to her while serving as number two in the Vatican's Secretariat of State, which manages the Church's vast donations.
'I didn't steal a single euro,' Cecilia Marogna told newspaper Domani of the payments made in tranches of tens of thousands of euros.
Rather, 'I have a letter from the cardinal giving me the right to travel and conduct diplomatic relations to help the Church in difficult regions,' she said, claiming to know 'senior members of the Italian secret services'.
She told Corriere della Sera that she is 'not Becciu's mistress', calling herself a 'political analyst and intelligence expert' with 'a network of relationships in Africa and the Middle East' to protect the Vatican's representatives abroad.
她告诉“晚邮报”(Corriere Della Sera)，她“不是贝丘的情妇”，称自己是一名“政治分析师和情报专家”，拥有“非洲和中东的关系网”，以保护梵蒂冈在海外的代表。
Becciu, who previously held the Vatican's number three job in theSecretariat of State, abruptly resigned on September 25.
It was later revealed that he did so after the order was given by Pope Francis.
Becciu is now suspected of high-level corruption, including buying a luxury London property, purchasing an Italian hospital, and wiring money to his brothers.
He is further accused of orchestrating the downfall of Cardinal George Pell, who was brought into the Vatican with a remit of getting the church's finances in order.
Becciu is accused of using 600,000 in church funds to bribe people to give evidence against Pell in his sex abuse trial, in which he was accused of abusing choir boys in the1990s.
Pell was sentenced to six years in prison in May 2019, before the conviction was quashed on appeal.
Welcomed back to the Vatican by the Pope this week, suspicion has now fallen on Becciu - Pell's rival. Becciu has denied any wrongdoing.
Marogna's arrest amid accusations of covert backstabbing has caught public attention because of her links to espionage.
The Australianreports that Moragna was paid the money to help Becciu build an 'intelligence network'.
The payments were signed off byMonsignor Alberto Perlasca, Becciu's former assistant, who is thought to have coordinated payments in the Pell case.
这些款项是由贝丘的前助理阿尔贝托·佩拉斯卡主教(Monsignor Alberto Perlasca)签署的，据信他在佩尔一案中协调了付款。
Perlasca is thought to be cooperating with investigators after his office was raided by police.