CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 11 August 2018

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Former managers of Vatican bank ordered to pay damages

VATICAN (CNS): A Vatican court found Paolo Cipriani, the former director of the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR)—better known as the Vatican Bank, and Massimo Tulli, the bank’s former deputy director, liable for mismanagement on February 6, and ordered an injunction for them to pay damages.
 
The amount sought was not specified. However, the Italian news agency ANSA said the damages the bank incurred totalled about 47 million euro (about $449 million).
 
Cipriani and Tulli had offered their resignations “in the best interest of the institute and the Holy See” in July 2013.
 
The court’s sentence stems from “a civil liability action started by IOR in September 2014 supported by a comprehensive review of financial investments made by IOR before mid-2013,” the bank said in a written statement.
 
In February 2017, an Italian tribunal in Rome found Cipriani and Tulli guilty of violating norms against money laundering and both men were given four-month prison sentences.
 
Meanwhile, the Vatican Bank, said the sentence confirms its intent “to pursue by judicial proceedings any misconduct carried out to its detriment, no matter where and by whom.”
 
In its regular reviews of the Vatican Bank’s efforts to fight money laundering and financing terrorism, the Council of Europe’s Moneyval committee has praised the bank’s efforts in establishing international standards and tougher norms. However, it repeatedly noted the difficulty in judging how effective those new laws were, given the lack of prosecutions and convictions concerning finance-related crimes.
 
The most recent Moneyval report in December 2017, said the Vatican’s oversight agency, the Financial Information Authority, “seemed to be working efficiently,” but while the Vatican court had frozen the assets of several accounts at the Vatican bank, “the Holy See had still not brought a money-laundering case to court.”

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