Jury acquits five over "God's Banker" murder

A jury in Rome has acquitted five people charged with murder over the death of banker Robert Calvi, who had close links with the Vatican Bank and was found hanged under a UK bridge in 1982.

This is London reports that Calvi, known as "God's Banker" because of his links to the Vatican, was found hanged under Blackfriars Bridge in 1982 with bricks and banknotes stuffed in his pockets.

None of the defendants was in the high-security courtroom on the outskirts of Rome when the judge read the verdict, reached after one and a half days of deliberation.

Prosecutors had asked for life sentences for four defendants, but said a fifth should be acquitted for insufficient evidence.

An inquest in London initially ruled that his death was suicide, but after a High Court challenge by Calvi's family a second inquest was held and an open verdict was recorded.

The five accused of bank chief Roberto Calvi's murder have now been acquitted.

In 2003, Italian prosecutors concluded that the banker had been killed, and in October 2005 four men and a woman went on trial in Rome for his murder.

Prosecutors have claimed that one of the five defendants, Giuseppe "Pippo" Calo, ordered that Calvi should be killed.

It is alleged that Calvi was laundering money for the Mafia and mob bosses feared he would betray them after his Banco Ambrosiano collapsed in one of Italy's biggest fraud scandals.

Calo, nicknamed Cosa Nostra's "cashier" by the Italian media for his alleged laundering of mob money, has been in jail since the 1980s on Mafia charges unconnected to Calvi's death.

The other defendants are businessmen Ernesto Diotallevi and Flavio Carboni, Calvi's driver and bodyguard Silvano Vittor, and Carboni's Austrian ex-girlfriend Manuela Kleinszig.

Prosecutors asked for Kleinszig to be acquitted because of insufficient evidence, and for life sentences for the other four defendants.

Italian jury acquits five accused of murdering Vatican banker found hanging under a London bridge (This is London, 6/6/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Roberto Calvi (Wikipedia)
Vatican Bank

Vatican banker Archbishop Marcinkus dead at 84 (CathNews, 22/2/06)

7 Jun 2007