Vatican issues warrant for co-operation in financial probe

Msgr Scarano

The Vatican has taken the unusual step of issuing a warrant for co-operation from Italy in a probe into a prelate who led a key Vatican accounting unit until shortly before his arrest, reports ANSA in Ucanews.

Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, who headed analytic accounts at the Vatican's asset-management agency APSA, was jailed in June along with a former Italian spy and a financial broker for allegedly trying to smuggle 20 million euros into Italy.

All three were recently denied release from jail to house arrest for showing ''marked criminal behavior' and 'common ruthlessness,' according to a judicial assessment Wednesday.

Vatican Spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told journalists on Friday that the Vatican court 'has forwarded, through the usual diplomatic channels, a formal request ... for collaboration with the Italian judiciary' regarding the Vatican's open probe into Scarano.

The Vatican on July 12 said it would from now on show 'zero tolerance' toward illicit dealings at the troubled Vatican Bank, whether committed by clerics or people outside the Church.

'The Vatican is determined to pursue a zero-tolerance policy on possible financial irregularities, whether by clerics or lay persons,' Lombardi said at the time, citing a recent statement from the new head of the Vatican Bank, Ernst von Freyberg, who replaced Paolo Cipriani when he and deputy director Massimo Tulli resigned on July 2 following Scarano's arrest.

The Vatican justice representative appealing to Italian authorities, Giampiero Milone, also ordered Scarano's accounts last month to be frozen at the Vatican Bank, whose official name is the Institute for Religious Works (IOR).

FULL STORY Vatican issues warrant for co-operation in financial probe (Ucanews)

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