Scarano questioned in 20 million corruption plot at Holy See

Suspect asks to be moved from prison to house arrest

Scarano questioned in 20 million corruption plot at Holy See

Rome, July 1 - Italian magistrates questioned Msgr Nunzio Scarano Monday in a 20-million-euro corruption plot involving the Holy See's asset-management agency APSA. Scarano, who was arrested last Friday on suspicion of corruption and fraud, said he was not comfortable in Rome's Regina Coeli prison and requested house arrest, prosecutors said. Scarano was questioned for about three hours by investigating magistrate Barbara Callari, who will decide the next step in the process. Scarano was arrested along with Giovanni Maria Zito, an agent in Italy's domestic intelligence agency, and Rome broker Giovanni Carenzio. It's alleged the trio were involved in a failed attempt to fly 20 million euros of alleged tax-evasion proceeds from Switzerland back to Italy. Police said Scarano and Zito got a private jet to fly the cash for three Salerno-based shipowner brothers who were friends with Scarano. Zito is suspected of getting 400,000 euros for arranging cover for the flight. Scarano was suspended a month ago after being named in a separate probe into receiving money in Salerno. Police said brothers Paolo, Cesare and Maurizio D'Amico, whose fleet is based in Salerno but who are prominent in Rome business circles, were the alleged beneficiaries of what they called "a complex and expensive operation to evade airport customs controls and bring back into Italy money that is believed to be the fruit of tax evasion". Prosecutors said they were probing Scarano's "huge" financial and property assets. The Vatican has said it would cooperate fully with the probe.

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