Ousted Auditor Says He Got Too Close To Secret Vatican Accounts

Ousted Auditor Says He Got Too Close To Secret Vatican Accounts

St. Peter basilica at the Vatican | Image: Anita Sanikop

Vatican’s former chief auditor was allegedly ousted after an investigation he led came too close to unearthing secret bank accounts. Some believed the accounts were linked to a London property deal that prompted an internal Holy See inquiry into possible financial irregularities, the Financial Times reported.

Libero Milone, who was forced to resign in mid-2017, said he was pushed out through trumped-up accusations after discovering evidence of possible illegal financial activity that had millions of dollars held “off the books” by Vatican entities in Switzerland.

“Some people got worried that I was about to uncover something I shouldn’t see,” said Milone, a former chairman of Deloitte in Italy who was hired by Pope Francis in 2015 as the Vatican’s first chief auditor, according to a Financial Times interview.

“We were getting too close to information that they wanted to be secret, and they fabricated a situation for me to be thrown out.”

The police raid Vatican offices

The Vatican has been embroiled in a scandal that saw offices of its secretariat of state, the Holy See’s central administrator, raided on Oct. 1. Police seized documents and computers linked to a $200 million investment by the agency in a plan to build 49 luxury apartments in London’s Chelsea district.

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The head of the Vatican’s financial watchdog authority, Swiss lawyer René Brülhart, has announced that he will be leaving his post by the end of November.

The financial watchdog agency has been at the center of highly unusual developments in recent weeks. Brülhart’s immediate subordinate, Tommaso Di Ruzza, was suspended from duty on suspicion of possible financial impropriety.