Court Date to Settle Ex-Auditor General Lawsuit Set for October
Libero Milone and his former deputy Ferruccio Panicco, who died of cancer last month, filed a $10 million against the Vatican last November for unlawful dismissal.
VATICAN CITY — The Vatican’s first auditor general has been summoned to a trial hearing at the Vatican in mid-October soon after which he will learn whether he has been successful in his lawsuit against the Vatican.
Libero Milone, who together with his former deputy, Ferruccio Panicco, sued the Vatican for $10 million last November for unlawful dismissal, will face questioning and a debate on the merits of his case when he appears at the Vatican tribunal on Oct. 18.
Both Milone and Panicco, who died of cancer last month, have accused the Vatican of “breach of contract, damage to reputation and moral damage to us and our families” after they were dismissed from their jobs in 2017 for “spying.”
Both men firmly denied the accusations and accused the former No. 2 official at the Secretariat of State, Cardinal Angelo Becciu, of working with the Vatican police to force their removal by framing them on false accusations of spying and embezzlement after their auditing began uncovering evidence of corruption at the highest levels of the Roman Curia.
After frequent efforts to reach an out-of-court settlement received no response, the two men decided to file the lawsuit.
Panicco, who had been suffering from cancer at the time of their dismissal, died last month after contending that the Vatican had caused his illness to worsen when it lost vital medical records during a raid on his office in 2017.
In court papers obtained by the Register on July 21, the Vatican tribunal said it had rejected requests made by Milone’s lawyers in January to make preliminary investigations into the role of certain cardinals and Vatican officials, saying it deemed such investigations “irrelevant to the decision of the present case.”
It is not clear why the request was turned down, but the tribunal also deemed inadmissible documents submitted by the Secretariat of State and the defendant.
The outcome of the Milone-Panicco lawsuit will be significant as the claim goes further than protesting their innocence and could point to extensive cover-up, corruption and unjust practices at the highest levels of the Roman Curia.
It is also one of a series of cases involving accusations of unlawful dismissal within the Roman Curia in recent years.
Asked in November how he hoped his own case would be resolved, Milone said he did not know how it would proceed, but that he had “always had faith in the justice systems anywhere in the world where I have worked, and therefore I hope that this will happen also in the Vatican.”