Rome court acquits ex-Vatican accountant of corruption

ROME (AP) — A lawyer for an Italian monsignor who was fired from his Vatican accountant’s job says a Rome court has acquitted his client of corruption.

Prosecutors alleged Monsignor Nunzio Scarano was involved in a purported plot to use a private plane to try to smuggle 20 million euros (about $22 million) from Switzerland into Italy to evade taxes. They suspected the money was deposited in Switzerland to avoid Italian taxes.

Defense lawyer Silverio Sica says Scarano was acquitted of the corruption charge on Monday. According to Sica, the court convicted Scarano of slander and gave him a suspended two-year sentence.

Separately, Scarano is on trial in Salerno, Italy, for allegedly using his Vatican bank accounts to launder money. Italian prosecutors said the once highly-secretive Vatican bank amply cooperated in that case.

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