Libero Milone, First Auditor General of the Vatican Photo: The Pillar

First Auditor General of the Vatican Appeals Ruling of the Vatican Court

In Vatican law and Italian law, the prosecution and defense can appeal verdicts, and second appeals are allowed.

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(ZENIT News / Rome, 19.02.2024).- Libero Milone, First Auditor General of the Vatican, will appeal the ruling of the Vatican Court before the Court of Appeal of the Vatican State, his lawsuit for financial compensation for illegal dismissal having been rejected. The Court is composed of a President and three Judges. The deadline for appeal is February 20.

A Vatican Court ruled on January 24 that the lawsuit against the Vatican Secretariat of State did not proceed because it was not responsible for the accusations of the illegal dismissal of Libero Milone and his late Deputy, Ferruccio Panicco, a lawsuit filed in 2022.

The plaintiffs alleged unfair dismissal due to financial irregularities in their audit procedures. The Court ordered Milone to pay 50,000 euros and 64,000 euros to Panicco’s estate, which they requested as restitution from the Secretary of State and the Auditor General’s office that the defendants named in the lawsuit.

Milone claimed to have been “expelled for introducing applicable international audit procedures, as determined in the statute that created the Office of the Auditor General,” and added that Vatican officials “confused auditing with espionage.” Milone and Panicco were fired in 2017, two years after they were hired and after Vatican police searched their offices.

The auditors demanded 9,300,000 euros as compensation for the loss of reputation and the impossibility of a new job after the slander of the dismissal. They added 3,500,000 euros for the loss of medical records during the raid, which they believe led to Panicco’s death from the cancer he was suffering.

The basic argument of the Attorneys of the Secretary of State was that the firing was not based on Milone’s hiring or resignation. Given the information that the Pope hired Milone and then wished to dispense with his duties, the Court established that the Pope’s decisions were outside its authority.

Milone’s lawyers said they had a document signed by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, proving Milone was hired.

Milone’s and Panicco’s defense pointed out that the two auditors requested detailed documentation from the Secretariat of State regarding the London Sloane Avenue real estate scandal, which came to light two years after their dismissal and which entailed great economic losses for the Vatican.

Milone’s and Panicco’s defense also argued that auditors discovered questionable financing in the expansion and renovation of a Vatican apartment belonging to Vatican Police Chief Domenico Giani. And that their work with external auditors to uncover the web of corruption and financial mismanagement in the Roman Curia was not espionage. Cardinal Becciù stopped the external audit in 2016 a few months after it began.

Milone’s appeal at the Vatican Court of Appeals will run parallel to Cardinal Becciù’s appeal, which is expected to last a year. In Vatican law and Italian law, the prosecution and defense can appeal verdicts, and second appeals are allowed.


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Rafael Llanes

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