Police leaked information about allegations made by a rival in the...

The Australian financial crime watchdog has provided police with information about allegations that a Vatican rival has transferred money to Australia to seek a conviction against Cardinal George Pell.

AUSTRAC chief Nicole Rose appeared before a Senate appraisal committee Monday and said the watchdog had contacted the Australian federal and Victorian police about the concerns.

Italian media have reported unsubstantiated allegations that Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu – viewed as a rival to Cardinal Pell – is suspected of depositing $ 1.14 million in a bank account in Australia for evidence against him in his sexual abuse trial To receive children.

Liberal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells questioned AUSTRAC officials on the matter at a Senate hearing Tuesday evening.

“I can confirm that AUSTRAC has investigated the matter and that we have provided information to AFP and the Victoria Police,” said Ms. Rose at the hearing.

AUSTRAC CEO Nicole Rose appears before a Senate Estimates hearing at Parliament House in Canberra.


Ms. Rose did not comment on the type of information or why it was passed on to the state and federal police.

SBS News had asked both AFP and Victoria Police to comment on whether an active investigation is ongoing.

In a statement, a spokesman for AFP confirmed that it was conducting a “relevant information” review.

“The AFP has also referred aspects of this matter to the Victorian Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC),” the spokesman said.

“The AFP has no further comment to make on this matter.”

Italian media have not provided any evidence to support the allegations.

Senator Fierravanti-Wells also asked Home Secretary Mike Pezzullo whether his department had received requests from Cardinal Pell’s legal team to investigate the matter.

Mr Pezzullo said he did not know anything but would look into it.

A full bank in the High Court of Australia unanimously decided to overturn Cardinal Pell’s conviction earlier this year.

Cardinal Becciu’s attorney has reportedly stated that his client strongly denies interfering with Cardinal Pell’s trial.

Cardinal George Pell.


Cardinal Becciu resigned from his senior post at the Vatican in September after allegedly being asked to resign by Pope Francis.

Cardinal Pell then issued a statement praising Pope Francis and hoping that “the cleaning of the stables will continue in both the Vatican and Victoria”.

This appeared to point to allegations that his law enforcement in Victoria was in some way linked to his efforts to root out corruption and waste in the Vatican.

Viv Waller, an attorney for a man who testified against Cardinal Pell in the 2018 trial, has denied that her client received any money.

Cardinal Pell’s attorney Robert Richter QC previously requested an investigation into reports of transfers from the Vatican.

“I am treating these reports as a proper investigation of all tax authorities to track the money coming into Australia,” he said earlier this month.

Cardinal Pell returned to Rome this month.

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