Vatican Banker running scared: Gotti Tedeschi could turn whistle-blower
Ettore Gotti Tedeschi feared for his life when he was ousted as head of the Vatican bank after a vote of no confidence May 24.
The 67-year-old Italian was brought in by the pope’s secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, in 2009 with a mandate to turn the troubled bank around and help “facilitate transparency” with an eye toward quashing rumors that the bank was a den of iniquity. The Vatican had hoped that through Gotti Tedeschi’s guidance, the tiny city-state could finally earn a coveted spot on the globalFinancial Action Task Force “white list” of states whose financial practices can be trusted.
In reality, Gotti Tedeschi says he found the bank’s record much worse than he could have imagined, and that he spent the last two years struggling endlessly against the Vatican’s powerful Vatican forces, whom he says blocked his every attempt at transparency. He stormed out of his final meeting of the board of the Vatican bank, known as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), even before they cast their no-confidence vote against him. The bank says it dismissed him due to lack of management skills and “progressively erratic personal behavior.” But Gotti Tedeschi says he was ousted because he got too close to the truth about the bank’s alleged shady dealings. He told a Reuters journalist moments after he was sacked, “I have paid the price for transparency.”
A week after his ouster, Gotti Tedeschi was in trouble again. His home in Piacenza and his offices in Milan were searched by Italian police, who say they were combing for evidence that he was an “informed witness” with regard to questionable business dealings of Italy’s state-run defense and aerospace firm Finmeccanica, whose president is his close pal. He has not been arrested, nor is he officially under investigation, and the police say the Finmeccanica inquiry is a separate affair not at all related to his problems with the Vatican bank. But in searching his property, investigators reportedly found a treasure trove that could link the Vatican to all sorts of shady dealings and underworld characters. And the Vatican top brass desperately want to get their hands on it, sternly warning Italian police that because the Vatican is a “sovereign nation” their documents are protected under immunity, even if they are found during a criminal probe outside its borders. “The Holy See is surprised and concerned at the recent events that Professor Gotti Tedeschi is involved with,” said a Vatican statement issued Friday. “We have faith that the prosecutors and Italian judicial system will respect our sovereignty—recognized internationally—with regard to these documents.”
The former head of the Vatican Bank has become the Papacy’s Enemy Number One, after police discovered a trove of documents exposing financial misdeeds in the Holy See. The banker now reportedly fears for his life.
Earlier this week police conducted a dawn raid on the house and office of Ettore Gotti Tedeschi. Investigators say they were looking for evidence in a graft case against defense and aerospace firm Finmeccanica, which was formerly run by a close friend of Gotti Tedeschi.
Instead, as it turns out, police stumbled upon an entirely different find.
They discovered 47 binders containing private communication exposing the opaque inner workings of the secretive Holy See. They included financial documents, details of money transfers and confidential internal reports – all prepared by Gotti Tedeschi to build a convincing expose of corruption in the Vatican.
A renowned economics professor and head of the Italian branch of the giant Bank of Santander Gotti Tedeschi took what turned out to be a poisoned chalice of a job in 2009, when he became the President of the Institute for Works of Religion, the formal name for the Bank of Vatican. His brief was formidable – to introduce transparency to a lucrative enterprise that had become a byword for money-laundering and corruption.
After a tumultuous three years marked by in-fighting and public scandals, Gotti Tedeschi was unanimously dismissed from his post by a board of Vatican officials in May.
“I have paid for my transparency” the indignant banker said to the media, as he stormed off even before his dismissal hearing was over.
The confidential minutes of the stormy meeting obtained by Reuters showed the banker accused of “progressively erratic personal behavior” and “exhibiting lack of prudence and accuracy in comments regarding the Institute”.
i would be worried to..the secrets this man has renders him as a loose cannon..spill the beans gotti..all of it..