Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, the former head of the Vatican bank, has put together an archive of potentially damaging information on senior Italian and Vatican figures, according to reports.
AFP Reporters – The Telegraph UK – June 7, 2012
The archive made up of hundreds of pages, was reportedly seized by prosecutors during raids on Mr Gotti Tedeschi’s home and office on Tuesday, as part of a separate inquiry into alleged bribery at defence giant Finmeccanica.
The former banker is already under investigation on allegations of money laundering of 23 million euros ($29 million) through the Vatican bank.
He was questioned on Tuesday and Wednesday and is said to be assisting prosecutors.
Among those mentioned in the archive were “senior clergymen, shady intermediaries and influential Italian politicians,” the Italian daily Corriere della Sera reported.
Mr Gotti Tedeschi “has hired private bodyguards and contacted a private investigation agency for protection,” the Il Fatto Quotidiano daily said.
The report said Mr Gotti Tedeschi had given copies of his archive to trusted friends, telling them: “If I am killed, the reason for my death is in here.”
“I’m afraid for my life,” he reportedly told prosecutors.
When he saw plainclothes officers approach his house on Tuesday, Mr Gotti Tedeschi thought they were killers, La Stampa daily reported this week.
Corriere della Sera reported that the archive contained documents “on the management of numerous current accounts through which money of dubious provenance transited.”
Gotti Tedeschi was appointed in 2009 and sacked on May 24 by the board of the bank, known as the Institute for Religious Works or IOR, after a long-running dispute with the Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone.
A powerful and divisive figure in the Holy See, Bertone is one of the main targets in a series of leaks of confidential documents from the Vatican in recent months.
Those leaks have led to the arrest of Pope Benedict XVI’s butler.