October 23, 2019
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican’s internal financial regulator on Wednesday rejected a prosecutor’s accusations that it had acted improperly over a deal for the purchase of a luxury building in London.
The Financial Information Authority (AIF) statement, effectively pitting two Vatican departments against each other, was the regulator’s first public comment since police raided its offices, seizing documents and computers.
The AIF said it had carried out an investigation and reaffirmed confidence in its director, Tommaso di Ruzza, who was suspended after the raid.
“In the exercise of its institutional authority, neither the director nor any other employee of AIF improperly exercised his authority or engaged in any other wrongdoing,” it said.
The raid also led to the resignation of Domenico Giani, the Vatican’s longtime security chief and Pope Francis’ main bodyguard, on Oct. 14. Giani resigned over the leak of a document related to the investigation.
Vatican prosecutor Gian Piero Milano is looking into possible crimes such as embezzlement, abuse of office, fraud and money laundering connected to the purchase of the building by the Secretariat of State, according to people familiar with his search warrant. Its offices were also raided on Oct. 1.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Alison Williams and Andrew Cawthorne)