Pope again updates Vatican legal code amid scrutiny, probes
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has made another set of changes to the Vatican City State’s legal code.
In a new law published Tuesday, Francis made two modifications to criminal trial procedures when defendants don’t show up, one of which allows their lawyers to defend them fully even in absentia.
The change could be seen as necessary, given an ongoing investigation into a Vatican real estate investment has implicated Italian nationals who may decide to not step foot in the city state’s tribunal since they risk possible arrest.
The Vatican’s legal system has come under heightened scrutiny and criticism as Vatican prosecutors seek to crack down on financial crimes and mismanagement by Holy See monsignors and money managers.