Vatican ‘security consultant’ Cecilia Marogna lodges complaint over confiscated cellphone

By Hannah Brockhaus for CNA

A Vatican flag waves over the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica. Credit: Bohumil Petrik/CNA.

Vatican City, Feb 10, 2021 / 07:00 am (CNA).- Cecilia Marogna, an Italian woman expected to face trial at the Vatican on charges of embezzlement, has lodged an appeal with a Milan court over the confiscation of her cellphone.

According to Italian media reports, Marogna appealed to the Court of Review of Milan on Feb. 9 against the seizure of her cellphone as part of a Vatican investigation against her.

The smartphone is reported to have been recently sent to Vatican investigators after being in the possession of Italian investigators since October.

Marogna, a 39-year-old from Sardinia, has been accused of misappropriating Vatican funds from payments of more than 500,000 euros (around $600,000) she received from the Vatican’s Secretariat of State through her Slovenia-registered company in 2018 and 2019.

Marogna has said that she worked for the Secretariat of State as a security consultant and strategist. She acknowledged receiving hundreds of thousands of euros from the Vatican but insisted that the money was for her Vatican consultancy work and salary.

Media have claimed that the payments were made under the direction of Cardinal Angelo Becciu, the former sostituto of the Secretariat of State and a fellow Sardinian. He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

In January, the Vatican announced that it had dropped a request for Marogna’s extradition from Italy to the Vatican, and that a trial against her would begin soon.

The Vatican issued the statement on the day that Italian judges had been due to rule on whether to allow Marogna’s extradition.

Marogna’s cellphone was taken on Oct. 13, 2020, when she was arrested in Milan for extradition to the Vatican. She was released from jail after 17 days, on the condition that she register her presence to local police daily. This obligation was lifted on Jan. 16.

Marogna appealed against the extradition order, but the Vatican dropped its extradition request right before the appeal hearing.

According to the Sardinia Post, earlier this month Marogna lodged a complaint in the Brescia prosecutor’s office for alleged crimes committed against her in connection with her arrest.

She reported claims that she was “deprived of freedom unjustly” from the day of her arrest until the lifting of the obligation to register her presence with Milan police in mid-January.

Marogna submitted the complaint through her new legal representation, after her previous lawyers, who specialize in corporate criminal law, parted ways with her in early February.

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