Vatican Defends Seizure of $30 Million from Bank

By Rachel Donadio
New York Times
September 23, 2010

ROME — As an inquiry into its murky finances looked poised to widen, the Vatican swiftly went on the defensive on Thursday, saying that the seizure of $30 million from a Vatican bank account and the judicial investigation of the bank’s two top officials were the result of a “misunderstanding.”

On Tuesday, Italian officials announced an inquiry into the Vatican bank’s top officials for having failed to explain adequately the origins of $30 million transferred from one of its accounts in a Rome bank. Magistrates opened the investigation based on an alert from the Bank of Italy, the nation’s central bank.

The authorities here said they had seized the $30 million “preventatively” but have not pressed charges against the Vatican bank’s chairman, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, or its director general, Paolo Cipriani.


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