Cardinal Angelo Becciu, who was once one of Francis’ top advisers as the No. 2 in the Vatican secretariat of state, sought the help of Cecilia Marogna, an Italian self-styled intelligence specialist in the rescue of the nun.
In a report, Vatican News quoted Becciu during a trial on Thursday saying that he appealed to Marogna for assistance on the kidnapping of Sister Gloria Cecilia Narvaez, a Colombian nun, back in February 2017 in Mali.
It was the Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb who kidnapped Narvaez.
“She referred me to a British intelligence agency, Inkerman, with which she could profitably interface by activating all the operations necessary for the release of Sister Gloria,” Becciu revealed.
Becciu claimed he notified the Pope, who was “pleased” and “quickly recognized the necessity not to expose the Vatican to pointless, if not detrimental, publicity”.
On October 21, 2021, the nun was released.
The money, intended for the ransom of Narvaez, was deposited into various accounts of Marogna.
There was no mention on Vatican News of the amount paid but various media outlets reported that it amounted to one million euros.
The prosecution said that much of the money was used to buy clothing, accessories, and luxury furniture.
Becciu faced trial on Thursday as he was accused of embezzlement, abuse of office, and witness tampering, all of which he denied.
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