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Vatican Bank scandal: accounts frozen

Monday, December 08, 2014 - 01:26

In the latest scandal to hit the Vatican bank, it's top prosecutor freezes 16 million euros in bank accounts owned by two former Vatican bank managers and a lawyer as part of an investigation into the sale of Vatican-owned real estate. Hayley Platt reports.

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The Vatican Bank is no stranger to scandal. The latest - two of its former bank managers and a lawyer are under investigation for suspected embezzlement. It relates to property deals between 2001-2008. 29 Vatican-owned buildings were sold, mostly to Italians. The accused have had their bank accounts, containing 16 million euros, frozen. It's all part of a bid by the Holy City to try and improve the transparency of the Vatican's finances and administration. Pope Francis is fully behind the process and often speaks out against greed and corruption. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) POPE FRANCIS SAYING: (UNDER SHOT OF CROWDS IN ST. PETER'S SQUARE WATCHING POPE FRANCIS SPEAK ON BIG SCREEN/SOUNDBITE ENDS ON AERIAL SHOT OF CROWDS OF PILGRIMS IN ST. PETER'S SQUARE) "I think of those who are oppressed by suffering, injustice and abuse of power and to those who are slaves of money, power, success and worldliness." The Roman Catholic Church wants to be more accountable to its 1.2 billion followers. Just last month the Vatican issued staff with a manual on economic ethics and accountability. The latest investigation follows an audit of the Vatican bank by independent financial consultants. Cardinal Pell, the man overseeing the process, recently found hundreds of millions of euros 'tucked away' in various different accounts. It's thought the money wasn't on the bank's main balance sheet. It - and the latest revelations - highlight just how big a job the auditors have.

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Vatican Bank scandal: accounts frozen

Monday, December 08, 2014 - 01:26