di Marcello Mento
Berlin, May 20 - Vatican prosecutors have opened an investigation into allegations that former Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone embezzled 15 million euros from Vatican accounts, German daily Bild reported Tuesday citing unofficial Holy See sources. The newspaper said the money went to an unidentified television producer friend of Cardinal Bertone's. It said it was moved in a transfer in December 2012 despite resistance from the Vatican Bank. Bild reported that Renè Bruelhart, the head of the Vatican's Financial Information Authority (AIF), said that he could "neither confirm nor deny" the reports that Bertone is being probed. Bertone was appointed Vatican Secretary of State by Benedict XVi in 2006 and served in the position until last year, when Pope Francis replaced him with Cardinal Pietro Parolin. His time in the role was hit by the so-called VatiLeaks scandal, which saw confidential Church documents leaked to the media by the Benedict's butler in 2012. The leaked documents included letters a prelate sent to Benedict and Bertone on alleged corruption and mismanagement in the administration of the Vatican City. The prelate, Carlo Maria Vigano', was subsequently switched from his position as secretary-general of the governatorate of Vatican City State to a new post as Apostolic Nuncio to the United States. Last month Bertone strongly denied Italian media reports claiming that the prelate had a luxurious 700-square-meter flat renovated for himself while Pope Francis makes do with humbler lodgings at a Vatican guest house.