Pope faces investigation for ‘illegally wiretapping phones’

Pope faces investigation for ‘illegally wiretapping phones’

The Pope faces being investigated after allegedly authorised the unlawful wiretaps of phones in the sale of a London property.

The alleged authorisation is said to have taken place during a Vatican investigation into the “corrupt” sale of a €300 million property in London. It comes after the legal team for British financier Raffaele Mincione filed a complaint to the UN. The complaint included details about alleged abuses that were carried out during the trial by Pope Francis.

Rodney Dixon KC, a human rights barrister, has claimed that the Pope approved for Mr Mincione’s phone to be wiretapped during the investigation into the alleged wrongdoing at the Vatican. The trial heard that the spiritual leader allowed investigators to tap phones, intercept emails and arrest anyone without approval from a judge. He made the decision based on ancient laws that the Pope had powers over these authorisations.

In the complaint, Mr Dixon labelled the Pope as a “perpetrator” of human rights abuses. He said: “This unreasoned authorisation to prosecutors by an absolute monarch greenlit the undertaking of surveillance without the articulation of definite reasons, ongoing judicial or other independent and impartial supervision, or a mechanism by which to challenge the implementation of the surveillance before an independent and impartial tribunal”.

Mr Mincione was earlier charged with offences such as fraud, embezzlement, and abuse of office. It comes after claims that the price of the property was inappropriately valued as the Vatican alleged that the financer inflated the price.

However, Mr Mincione has disputed the allegations and said the property was correctly valued by independent experts. According to claims, Mr Mincione defrauded the property by inflating the price when it invested £124 million in an old Harrods warehouse in Chelsea through a fund ran by Mr Mincione.

He told The Daily Telegraph: “My basic rights have been trampled on and been ignored. How can it be correct that I have been handed criminal penalties for breaches of spiritual law which only applies to members of the Church, which don’t seem to apply to anyone else that handles the Vatican’s investments, and which I didn’t know anything about?

“This has been a devastating experience for me and my family and I truly hope that the United Nations will pursue justice in this matter.” A spokesperson for the Vatican said: “The legitimacy of the investigations and the correspondence of the Vatican judiciary system to the principles of fair trial has been recognised by various foreign courts.”