The German bishop suspended by the Vatican last month for spending lavishly on foreign travel and furnishings for his $42-million residence renovation has paid a $27,000 fine to settle a court case brought against him for lying under oath.
Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg was accused by German prosecutors of bringing a false claim against Der Spiegel after the weekly news magazine reported that he had flown first class on trips to minister to slum-dwellers in India last year.
Tebartz-van Elst told court officials in two sworn affidavits backing his complaint against Der Spiegel that he had not taken first-class flights to India. The Der Spiegel reporter, however, had videotaped an interview in which the bishop admitted doing so, and the court in Hamburg accepted the tape as evidence that the 53-year-old cleric had lied under oath, Deutsche Welle reported Monday.
Proceedings against the bishop were dropped Monday after receipt of the fine, Der Spiegel reported.
Tebartz-van Elst came under fire last month when it was disclosed that he had overspent on his residence renovation by 800%, including a $20,000 bathtub, $620,000 worth of artwork and $1.1 million in landscaping.