Breaking News: Vatican Bank Asked to Open Holocaust Era Accounts for Audit
By Jonathan Levy
August 4, 2013
VATICAN CITY, ROME -- A formal request has been made to Vatican Bank president, Ernst von Freyberg, to audit approximately 30 current and former Vatican Bank accounts that were identified as having laundered Holocaust era assets from the Balkans. The account information was gathered from several sources including government reports and the testimony of former Special Agent William Gowen who served in Rome in 1946-1947. The request comes immediately after the Vatican Bank’s current bid for transparency which includes a new website, an ongoing audit of private accounts and the appointment of several Vatican Commissions to combat money laundering at the tarnished institution.
Dr. Jonathan Levy, who is the attorney for several thousand claimants, Holocaust victims, their heirs, and organizations, has also asked the European Union Ombudsman and the European Commission to lend their good offices to the effort since the Vatican City State is an associate member of the Euro Zone.
The funds at stake were derived from the Ustasha Treasury, consisting of gold and valuable looted from Yugoslavia during the Second World War and deposited at the Vatican Bank in 1946. The new Vatican Bank website states that the bank also known as Institute for Religious Works is under the jurisdiction and laws of the Vatican City and its courts. Previously, the EU Commission had abstained from becoming involved claiming there were doubts as to the jurisdiction involved.