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01:36

Vatican prelate accused of money laundering | World news | The Guardian

A Vatican prelate already on trial for an alleged plot to smuggle €20m (£16.5m) into Italy on board a plane faces fresh accusations that he used his accounts at the Vatican bank to launder money.

Prosecutors in the southern Italian city of Salerno said on Tuesday that Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, a 61-year-old former accountant in the Vatican’s asset management division, had been served with an arrest warrant on suspicion of using offshore accounts to funnel millions of euros in fake donations through his accounts at the institution.

Scarano, already under house arrest following his high-profile detention last June, was accused alongside another priest and a notary. Police said on Tuesday they had made seizures of assets and property worth millions of euros. Fifty-two others were reportedly being investigated.

The investigation into money-laundering allegations was already under way when Scarano was arrested last year. At that time, he denied the accusations through his lawyer, Silverio Sica, and, on Tuesday, Sica said his client had merely taken donations from people he thought were wanting to fund a home for the terminally ill.

"We continue to strongly maintain the good faith of Don Nunzio Scarano and his absolute certainty that the money came from legitimate donations," he told Associated Press. …

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