Ex-head of Vatican Bank Has Archive on Senior Italian and Church Figures

The Telegraph
June 7, 2012

Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, the former head of the Holy See’s bank compiled a secret dossier of compromising information about the Vatican because he feared for his life, it was claimed.

Ettore Gotti Tedeschi Photo: REUTERS/Remo Casilli

In the latest twist in a scandal which has convulsed the papacy of Benedict XVI, Mr Tedeschi reportedly gave copies of the documents to his closest confidantes and told them: “If I am killed, the reason for my death is in here. I’ve seen things in the Vatican that would frighten anyone.”

One of the documents was reportedly titled “internal enemies” and contained the names of senior clergy and powerful Italian politicians.

Other emails and letters related to “money of dubious provenance” being allegedly funnelled through the Vatican bank, according to Corriere della Sera.

Appointed in 2009, the 67-year-old banker was sacked as head of the Vatican’s bank on May 24 – the day after the Pope’s butler was arrested on suspicion of stealing confidential letters from Benedict’s desk and leaking them to journalists.

Mr Gotti Tedeschi was allegedly ousted by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who as the Vatican secretary of state is the Pope’s deputy, in a dispute over efforts to improve the transparency of the scandal-ridden bank, known formally as the Institute for Religious Works.

Mr Gotti Tedeschi appeared to have compiled the dossier as a means of him defending himself against charges of incompetency, mismanagement and possible money laundering.

The reforms were intended to clean up the Vatican’s finances so that it could be included on the OECD's “white list” of countries least at risk from money laundering and other financial irregularities.

Earlier this year the city state was listed as a “jurisdiction of concern” for money laundering in the US State Department’s annual International Narcotics Control Strategy report.

Mr Gotti Tedeschi was so fearful for his safety that he hired bodyguards and sought advice from a private investigation agency, the Italian media reported.

The sensational claims evoked memories of one of the Vatican’s darkest chapters – the mysterious death in 1982 of Roberto Calvi, nicknamed “God’s Banker”, who was president of Italy’s largest private bank, the Banco Ambrosiano.

After the bank, which had close links with the Vatican, went bankrupt, Calvi was found hanged from scaffolding beneath Blackfriars Bridge in London, amid suspicions that he had been murdered by mafia godfathers as punishment for losing money they had invested in the bank.

“Gotti Tedeschi was nicknamed ‘the Pope’s banker’ and he feared meeting the same end as ‘God’s banker,’” said Il Fatto Quotidiano, a daily newspaper with a reputation for investigative reporting.

The secret dossier allegedly compiled by Mr Gotti Tedeschi was discovered by Carabinieri police after they raided his home and office in Milan and Piacenza, both in northern Italy, on Tuesday.

He was questioned by prosecutors for up to nine hours on Tuesday and Wednesday, during which he reportedly told them: “I’m afraid for my life”.

The raid was part of a separate investigation involving allegations of bribery at Finmeccanica, an Italian defence company that has extensive interests and thousands of employees in the UK.








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