Judge Dismisses Probe of Former Vatican Bank Chairman


By Dow Jones Business News, March 28, 2014

ROME–An Italian judge dismissed prosecutors’ investigation into the former chairman of the Vatican’s bank over possible noncompliance of money laundering rules, his lawyers said on Friday, accusing the bank’s board of damaging the Holy See after it fired him two years ago.

The ruling stated that Ettore Gotti Tedeschi wasn’t involved in the 2010 financial transaction that is being probed by local prosecutors for alleged violations as he wasn’t involved in the day-to-day running of the bank, said his lawyers in a statement, which includes a copy of Rome Criminal Court Judge Flavia Costantini’s order dated Feb. 19.

Rome prosecutors had agreed with the dismissal request of Mr. Gotti Tedeschi being removed from formal investigation, according to the judge’s order.

Pope Francis, who was elected just over one year ago, has set as a priority an overhaul of the Vatican’s finances and its scandal-probe bank. In January, Pope Francis replaced all but one of the five cardinals in the commission that oversees the bank as he placed a firmer hold on the financial institution.

In September 2010, Rome’s prosecutors had placed Mr. Gotti Tedeschi and the then-director general Paolo Cipriani of the Institute for the Works of Religion, or IOR, as the Vatican bank is officially called, under investigation for alleged irregularities in a request of transfer of money from an IOR account at an Italian bank.

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