The Vatican’s big financial fraud and corruption trial took a soap opera turn Friday with court-ordered testimony from a public relations specialist who has long harbored a grudge against one of the prime defendants, Cardinal Angelo Becciu, AP reports.

Francesca Chaouqui was called to answer questions after text messages entered into the court record indicated that she helped coach Becciu’s key accuser into turning on the cardinal. Chaouqui has never hidden her fantasy of taking revenge on Becciu, whom she accused of being behind her 2015-2016 prosecution for passing confidential documents to journalists.

She apparently found the chance to settle scores when Vatican police in 2019 began investigating the secretariat of state’s 350 million-euro investment in a London property. Prosecutors charged 10 people, including Becciu, with a host of financial crimes, alleging Vatican monsignors and external brokers fleeced the Holy See of tens of millions of euros in fees and commissions.

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