Bernabei's Lux Vide named in Vatican scandal

Company says loan repaid through shares in company

(See related) (ANSA) - Rome, May 20 - The television production company at the centre of a Vatican scandal reported on Tuesday is owned by Ettore Bernabei, a former director-general of Italian public broadcaster Rai.
    Bernabei is considered a friend of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone who, according to published reports Tuesday in German daily Bild, is under investigation by Vatican prosecutors probing allegations that the former secretary of state embezzled 15 million euros from Vatican accounts.
    Bild, citing unofficial Holy See sources, said the money was moved in December 2012 to an unidentified television producer who was a friend of Bertone.
    Bild also reported that the money relates to a convertible bond for television production company Lux Vide, owned by Bernabei.
    ANSA was told by company producers Matilde and Luca Bernabei that the bond was repaid with Lux Vide shares to a value they said was estimated by international accounting firm Deloitte.
    Lux Vide, they said, is 52% controlled by the Bernabei family and ended fiscal 2013 with revenues of approximately 41 million euros.
    Bertone has denied any wrongdoing, saying that the transaction was conducted in a normal manner and that former pope Benedict XVI "had been informed of the financial transaction at Lux Vide". "I repeat there is no problem," said Bertone. The cardinal had been appointed Vatican secretary of state by Benedict in 2006 and served in the position until last year, when Pope Francis replaced him with Cardinal Pietro Parolin.
    During Bertone's time in the role, the Vatican was rocked by the so-called VatiLeaks scandal which saw confidential Church documents leaked to the media by the Benedict's butler in 2012.
    As well, earlier this year, Pope Francis shook up administration of the scandal-plagued Vatican bank, replacing four members of a five-cardinal oversight committee.
    Bertone was among those ousted after less than a year into the start of their five-year mandate which began under Benedict.
    Much of the damage to the image of the Vatican bank, officially known as the Institute of Religious Works (IOR), happened under Bertone's command, when it came under scrutiny for allegedly not doing enough to prevent money laundering.


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