Europe

Former Vatican official Nunzio Scarano cleared of corruption

Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, in an undated photo Image copyright AP
Image caption Nunzio Scarano earned the name "monsignor" because of his seniority at the Vatican

A former Vatican accountant has been cleared of plotting to smuggle millions of euros of cash into Italy in a tax evasion scheme.

Monsignor Nunzio Scarano had worked for Apsa, which manages the Vatican's real estate holdings and stock portfolios, until his arrest in 2013.

Scarano was acquitted of corruption charges but convicted of a lesser slander charge and given a two-year suspended sentence by the Rome court.

He had denied any wrongdoing.

Prosecutors alleged Scarano had plotted to fly €20 million ($21.8 million; £15.2 million) in untaxed cash on a private plane from Switzerland to Italy.

A former intelligence agent and financial broker were also allegedly involved, according to prosecutors, but the agent was never able to carry out the plan.

The slander charge relates to Scarano making false accusations against one of his co-defendants.

The monsignor is still on trial in his home town of Salerno, in southern Italy, accused of using Vatican bank accounts to launder money.

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