Pope Francis appointed Giuseppe Pignatone, a former prosecutor in Rome where he coordinated historic prosecutions of Mafia leaders, as President of the Vatican City State Court.
Vatican justice has until now been criticized for its poor ability to handle cases that go beyond petty crime, so the arrival in the Vatican of such an experienced lawyer, especially in complex organized crime, is highly significant.
Following the Vatican judiciary’s expose of a case of embezzlement involving the Secretariat of State, Francis decided Oct. 3 to strike hard by appointing an organized crime expert to head the Vatican City State Court in the person of Pignatone.
He is 70 years old and has spent 45 years of his life in the Italian judiciary fighting the mafia
Alongside prosecutors Giancarlo Caselli and Piero Grasso, he attacked Cosa Nostra and the politicians it corrupted, including the former mayor of Palermo, Vito Ciancimino, and the one-time president of Sicily, Totò Cuffaro.
He left the public prosecutor’s office May 8, having reached the age limit.
Via La Croix