Rome

Swiss money flight prelate ordered to stay in jail

Judge denies Scarano's request for house arrest

Swiss money flight prelate ordered to stay in jail

Rome, July 5 - A judge in Rome rejected an appeal Friday from Msgr Nunzio Scarano to move him to house arrest after he was jailed on suspicion of planning to elude customs with 20 million euros in cash. The prelate had reportedly said he was not comfortable in Rome's Regina Coeli prison, and Scarano's lawyer said he would appeal the judge's decision. Scarano was arrested last week along with Giovanni Maria Zito, an agent in the AISI intelligence agency, and Rome broker Giovanni Carenzio. Police said Scarano and Zito got a private jet to fly back from Switzerland to Italy 20 million euros in cash for a family who were friends with Scarano. Zito is suspected of getting 400,000 euros for arranging cover for the flight. Scarano has been named in a separate probe into receiving money in Salerno near Naples. The arrests have been linked by the Italian media to past probes into alleged irregularities at the Vatican Bank, IOR. Vatican Spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said last week that the prelate had been suspended from his job as head of analytic accounts at the Holy See's asset-management agency APSA "more than a month" before his arrest. He added that the Vatican will cooperate "fully" with the probe. Scarano denies the charges.

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