L’Espresso complained on November 18 about “Becciu's amazing attack on L'Espresso (and the Pope),” calling Becciu wrongly an ex-cardinal.
Becciu started a civil cause against the oligarch magazine for diffamation, and for having influenced Francis’ decision to fire him on September 24.
His lawyers argue that Francis held an advance copy of L’Espresso in his hand at the time of Becciu’s dismissal. The issue, containing Massimiliano Coccia’s hit-piece against Becciu and was officially published only some days later.
With exuberant indignation, L’Espresso exclaims that this argument shows that Francis is for Becciu, a “suggestible, influenceable person, easily conditioned to such an extent that an article is enough to make him overturn his judgement of one of his trusted men.”
Almost in tears, the magazine sighs, “If in fact an important cardinal like Becciu does not hesitate to treat the Pope in public in this way, what else needs to be said?”
L’Espresso claims that Becciu’s accusation “contradicts” his September 25 press conference when he said that Francis had told him he was informed by Italian Financial Police about alleged embezzlements.
“Why did Becciu change his mind now?” – L’Espresso asks triumphantly, but this is a non sequitur. Why could Francis not have said what he said, especially since L’Espresso’s article suggested the same?
Becciu’s lawyers quantified the damage suffered to €10 million, also because Becciu “could have been among the Papabili.” L’Espresso is again overcome by holy indignation, “Thus the cardinal reveals his ambition” and “Peter's throne, for the first time, is valued at ten million euros.”
Arguments of lawyers should not be taken personally. They have no other purpose than promoting the cause of their client.