Full Text of Lawyer Statement on Exoneration of Former Vatican Bank President

"It has emerged clearly that the President of the Institute Ettore Gotti Tedeschi was not part of the incriminating operations"

Rome, (Zenit.org) | 1490 hits

Here below we publish a lawyers' statement on an investigation of Professor Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, former president of the Institute for Works of Religion, or Vatican bank.

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PRESS RELEASE

The Criminal Court of Rome, in reception of the request put forward by the Public Prosecutors office of Rome, with the decree of storage issued on February 19, 2014, has shared the full and exact arguments given by the P.M. and has excluded Dr. Ettore Gotti Tedeschi from every responsibility in the operation that in 2010 led the magistrate to seize 23 million euros of the IOR for violation of the anti-money laundering normative.

Highlighted in the measures is that:

-          The investigation of the Public Prosecutors office was not motivated by the merely formal violation of the anti-money laundering normative, but stemmed from the conviction that the lack of respect on the part of those in charge of the Institute, might make it possible for the IOR to become easily a channel for the carrying out of illicit operations of money laundering of sums of money from malfeasance, through the action of obliging IOR current account holders;

-          That the violation of the normative on the part of operational managers of the IOR was not episodic, and they were aware of the problems that such a disapplication could entail (money laundering risk);

-          That Ettore Gotti Tedeschi not only was totally outside of the modus operandi put in place by the operational management of the Institute, but that he clearly worked to achieve a juridical regime marked by criteria and rules that would avoid the repetition of conduct of managers of the IOR of omissions and impediments to the fulfillment of appropriate, verified and reinforced obligations;

-          That only thanks to the legislative and institutional initiatives that intervened in the six months after the seizure, the Public Prosecutors office decided in May of 2011 to unblock the 23 million euros, confident, in fact, of the reforming action undertaken by the then President Ettore Gotti Tedeschi;

-          That the developments on the normative at the interpretative and organizational level, subsequent to the introduction of the new normative of 2012, which were the object, as is known, of conflicting readings also at the headquarters of international organizations, do not seem to lead back to Professor Gotti Tedeschi.

-          That what has emerged from the investigation of the magistrate is incompatible with the notifications of the charges against President Gotti Tedeschi by the Advisers of the Administration of the IOR, such accusations appearing to be unfounded and instrumental manifestations for the purpose of removing him from his responsibilities, carried out by him with professionalism and efficiency, so much so as to obtain prestigious results at the level of recognition on the part of national and international organizations, so true is this that thanks to his work and the credibility that he conferred on the Institute, the Public Prosecutors office of Rome restored to the IOR the 23 million euros previously seized.

-          That in particular the accusation leveled by the Advisers against Ettore Gotti Tedeschi of his not being able to interact with the Management seems to have been, today with manifest evidence, fruit of a serious error of evaluation on the part of those who did not understand the good reasons why the President did not trust the behavior adopted by the Management of the Institute, which persons today no longer fulfill their role because of the known events.

The motivations are read in the request for storage (the parts reported in cursive in the present document are extracted directly from the request for storage and signed by the P.M. Nello Rossi, Stefano Fava and Stefano Pesci) on the basis of which on July 4, 2013 the Public Prosecutor of Rome requested the filing of the accusations against the former President of the IOR, while he intended to go ahead with the accusations against the other subjects, held to be the effective authors of the incriminating conduct, for which he acquired the documentation.

particularly illuminating to understand the subjective aspect of the conduct of the effective authors of the offense, the operating managers of the IOR, their degree of awareness of the problems still unresolved connected to the application of the anti-money laundering normative and the altogether episodic character of the lack of observance of this normative on the part of the Vatican Institute, that made the seizure in question only an example of a much greater reality.

In synthesis the said decree of storage in agreement with several facts which will be addressed below, explains and sanctions unequivocally that Dr. Gotti Tedeschi , in his quality of President of IOR, worked properly for the good of the Church and in keeping with the mandate received from Benedict XVI, but was impeded in pursuing such action by the Management of the Institute, of which in fact the involvement is confirmed by the investigation.

What the decree of storage confirms:

Thanks to the investigations of the Italian magistrate carried out for a long period of time, given the complexity of the affair it has emerged clearly that the President of the Institute Ettore Gotti Tedeschi  was not part of the incriminating operations, resulting, in fact, from the inquiries often made to carry out of the mandate received to support the Vatican Institute on the White List. Important results were obtained thanks to the significant changes made on the normative and institutional plane, between December 30, 2010 and the end of May of 2011. With the confirmation of the investigators on the operation of Dr. Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, the Public Prosecutor of Rome ordered the unblocking of the sum of 23 million euros, making them available again to the IOR.

Highlighted in particular, in the motivations of the measures issued by the Court of Rome and by the Public Prosecutors office of Rome, are:

-          that Professor Ettore Gotti Tedeschi was inscribed in the register of those being investigated, only because, in the abstract, he qualified to operate in as legal representative on the IOR account, while the investigations ascertained that the person that in this aspect had operated concretely for the IOR account was Paolo Cipriani, director general of the Vatican Institute;

-          that the investigations carried out made it possible to confirm the non-involvement of the IOR President, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, in the incriminating conduct and themodus operandiof the Institutes operating managers;

-          that the investigations of the magistrate, however, were not limited to evidence Dr. Gotti Tedeschis non-involvement in the single incriminating operation. But they undertook to verify excluding him if there were general acts of tendency or directives of the President that could link him with responsibility for the conduct held concretely by two signatory subjects of the transfer order (the director of the IOR Paolo Cipriani and, as resulting from the investigations, the vice-director of the Massimo Tulli Institute.);

-          That, vice versa, it is an objective fact resulting from more sources and of the comprehensive analysis of the developments of the recent affairs of the IOR that the activity of Professor Gotti Tedeschi as President of the IOR was essentially  orientated to give life to a new policy of the Institute in the framework of the adoption of an ensemble of measures geared to aligning Vatican City State, on the side of opposition to money laundering, to the best international standards, through the adoption of an anti-money laundering normatives and the creation of the AIF (Authority of Financial Information|) in order to be able to engage in profitable relations with similar organisms operating in other countries (and in Italy with our Unita di informazione finanziaria) [Financial Information Unit];

-          Finally, the P.M. clarify definitively how the developments do not seem to lead back to Professor Gotti Tedeschi on the normative, interpretative and organizational plane following the introduction of the new normatives which were the object, as is known, of conflicting readings, also at the headquarters of international organizations.

-          What does the said decree explain unanimously to other events that occurred:

-          What was ascertained by the Public Prosecutors office of Rome is added to a series of facts that happened in the meantime in the last twenty months, the whole concurring to demonstrate definitively the instrumental inconsistency of the most relevant points of the decided distrust of the board in the confrontations of President Gotti Tedeschi on 24.5.2012.

-          - in regard to the first point, the interview of the Secretary of Pope Benedict as well as Prefect of the Papal Household, Monsignor Georg Ganswein, given to the daily newspaper Il Messaggero on October 22, 2013, confirms in a clear and indisputable way the correctness of the conduct of the IOR President, esteemed and appreciated by the Pontiff, being held in the darkness of mistrust;

-          - in regard to the fifth point, the closing of the Vatileaks trial with the related convictions explains without a shadow of a doubt the absolute non-involvement of President Gotti Tedeschi in the issue of any document in his possession or of others;

-          - in regard to the eighth point, the decree confirms that the mistrust of President Gotti Tedeschi was well justified in the accusations of the operation of the Management of the Institute and its responsibility for the risk that derive to the Institute and that, unfortunately, were pointedly confirmed by the events that justified the carrying out of the investigation against Dr. Cipriani and his Vice, Dr. Tulli;

-          How and why the said decree puts in new light the deliberate mistrust of the IOR advisers

-          In light of the measures issued by the Judiciary Authority, and in addition to the success of the investigations and events that intervened in the last 20 months, Professor Ettore Gotti Tedeschi evidences how now it emerges clearly how unfounded and instrumental were the accusations that were imputed to him by the Advisers of the IORs Administration at the moment of his ouster from the IOR Presidency and well justified the reasons of the mistrust of the then President in the accusations against the conduct adopted by the Management of the Institute, which persons today are no longer at their posts because of the known events.

Hence the decree of storage creates the premises for ascertaining the real motives for the mistrust, in particular of the solicitations and conditioning that motivated the conduct of the members of the IOR Council that, mistrusting them, in fact created the situation to verify the grave errors and therefore grave damages to the Holy See.

The Administrative Council agreed, in fact, that if they maintained the changes, criticized by Moneyval, of the anti-money laundering law, they are also consenting indirectly to the modification and re-dimensioning of the role of the AIF, from an independent to a dependent position of organs of the Holy See.

Conclusions

It is for this reason that Dr. Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, after a long period of silence and awaiting, has instructed his lawyers, now that the affair has been clarified of an unacceptable investigation by the Italian magistrate, to take a series of initiatives in the judiciary headquarters to react to the numerous media attacks intended to denigrate his human and professional figure, being decided to demonstrate also through judicial avenues the ungrounded accusations put forward against him by the Advisers at the moment of his ouster.

Milan-Torino, March 27, 2014

Lawyer Fabio Marzio Palazzo                                   Lawyer Stefano Maria Commodo

[Translation by ZENIT]