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Sep 19, 2:43 PM EDT

Ex-head of Vatican hospital justifies apartment renovations


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VATICAN CITY (AP) -- The former president of the Vatican's children's hospital has defended spending 422,000 euros ($506,000) in hospital donations to renovate a cardinal's apartment, saying the investment would have brought even more donations.

Giuseppe Profiti took the witness stand Tuesday during his embezzlement trial in the Vatican's criminal court. He and the former treasurer of Bambino Gesu pediatric hospital are accused of diverting 422,000 euros from the hospital foundation to renovate the penthouse apartment of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the retired Vatican No. 2.

Profiti said the expense was justified because he intended to use Bertone's apartment for fundraisers that would have more than repaid the investment within four to five years. He said he envisioned soirees of eight to 10 people a half-dozen times a year.

None were ever held.

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