Australia’s financial crime watchdog has passed information to federal police about allegations money transfers from the Vatican were used to influence Cardinal George Pell’s trial.
Liberal senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells raised the matter at a Senate estimates.
AUSTRAC chief Nicole Rose said the watchdog had been in contact with Australian Federal Police over the issue.
“I can confirm AUSTRAC has looked into the matter and we’ve provided information to the AFP and to Victoria Police,” she told the hearing.
An Australian Federal Police spokeswoman confirmed information had been received as part of a routine exchange of financial intelligence with AUSTRAC.
“The AFP is undertaking a review of the relevant information,” she told AAP on Wednesday.
“The AFP has concurrently referred aspects of this matter to the Victorian Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission.”
Senator Fierravanti-Wells also asked Home Affairs boss Mike Pezzullo if his department had received any requests from Cardinal Pell’s legal team to examine the matter.
Mr Pezzullo said he wasn’t aware of anything being received but would look into it.
Earlier this month, Italian media reported unsubstantiated claims Cardinal Pell’s nemesis at the Vatican, ousted Cardinal Angelo Becciu, wired $A1.1 million in Vatican money to a bank account in Australia.
It has been suggested the money was used to secure evidence against Cardinal Pell in his child sexual abuse trial.
Cardinal Pell was convicted before being acquitted on appeal by the High Court in April.
Cardinal Becciu has been sacked but has denied wrongdoing and has not been named as a suspect in the case.
After Cardinal Becciu was sacked, Cardinal Pell issued a statement praising Pope Francis and saying he hoped “the cleaning of the stables continues in both the Vatican and Victoria”.
This appeared to reference allegations his prosecution in Victoria was in some way connected to his efforts to root out corruption and waste in the Vatican.
Viv Waller, a lawyer for a man who gave evidence against Cardinal Pell in the 2018 trial, has denied her client received any money.