Rome

Court says jailed prelate shows 'criminal behavior'

Former spy, broker also denied release for '20-mn-euro smuggle'

Court says jailed prelate shows 'criminal behavior'

Rome, July 31 - A court in Rome said that a Vatican prelate, a former Italian spy and a financial broker - each jailed for allegedly trying to smuggle 20 million euros into Italy - displayed "marked criminal behavior" and "common ruthlessness" in its assessment Wednesday of a decision not to release them. Giovanni Maria Zito, a recently transferred agent in the AISI domestic intelligence agency, financial broker Giovanni Carenzio and Monsignor Nunzio Scarano were detained June 28 in a probe over allegations they conspired to try to secretly repatriate the cash from Switzerland, allegedly the fruit of tax evasion by a family close to the prelate. A judge rejected their request earlier this month to move to house arrest. In its assessment of that decision, the court said the three showed the tendency to "manage people, institutions and things for their own personal gain". The arrests have been linked by the Italian media to past probes into alleged irregularities at the Vatican Bank, IOR, creating a thorn in the side of Pope Francis who has shown eagerness to get the Vatican on the 'white list' of countries with unimpeachable credentials by working with the Council of Europe's Moneyval anti-money-laundering agency. In its latest effort at transparency, IOR announced Wednesday it had launched a new Internet site where it will publish its annual balance sheet. In a letter to the pope made public last week, Scarano claimed he was innocent, pointing the finger at his bosses and unnamed high-ranking cardinals he says protected them.

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