Vatican trial opens into financial scandal rocking papacy

By NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Vatican prosecutors have alleged a jaw-dropping series of scandals in the biggest criminal trial in the Vatican's modern history.

The trial opens Tuesday in the Vatican Museums.

A once-powerful cardinal and nine other people are accused of bleeding the Holy See of millions of dollars in donations through bad investments, deals with shady money managers and apparent favors to friends and family.

They face prison sentences and fines if convicted.

The trial is the culmination of a two-year investigation into the Holy See's flawed 350 million-euro London real estate venture.

That operation exposed the Vatican's once-secret financial dealings and its structural dysfunction, which allowed just a few people to do much financial damage with little oversight.

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