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Rome Reports

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Former head of Vatican bank condemned for embezzlement

An important trial has ended at the Vatican. It's the first condemnation for a financial crime.

The Vatican court has sentenced Angelo Caloia, former director of the Vatican bank, and his lawyer, Gabriele Liuzzo, to eight years and 11 months in prison for money laundering and embezzlement.

Caloia is 80 years old. Liuzzo is 97.

The Vatican prosecutor reconstructed how between 2002 and 2007, they appropriated at least 19 million euros made from selling buildings and apartments belonging to the bank.

They would sell the buildings at much lower prices than their actual value, appropriating the difference, estimated to be around 59 million euros.

Among the accused were then-director of the bank, Lelio Scaletti, who died in 2015, and the lawyer's son, Lamberto Liuzzo, sentenced to five years in prison. They will have to pay reparations of about 20 million euros.

The Vatican has also seized the 38 million euros the accused had deposited in IOR accounts and accounts in Switzerland.

Javier Martínez-Brocal