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Arrested Vatican prelate fears being poisoned

Scarano claims to be in mortal danger, asks pope to be heard

10 October, 13:32
Arrested Vatican prelate fears being poisoned (ANSA) - Rome, October 10 - The Vatican prelate arrested earlier this year for alleged involvement in a bid to bring 20 million euros into Italy illegally said in an interview published Thursday that he feared he would be poisoned for his revelations to investigators. ''I have told of episodes that could put me in danger. I am trying to be stronger than the fear and nightmares that torment me, but despite my prayers, I am certain that I will die by poisoning,'' Nunzio Scarano told the newspaper Libero in an interview conducted through Scarano's lawyer Alba D'Antonio.

Scarano led a key Vatican accounting unit until a month prior to his June arrest in a probe over allegations he conspired with a former Italian spy and a financial broker to try to secretly repatriate the massive sum of cash, allegedly the fruit of tax evasion by a family close to the prelate.

The prelate, from the port city of Salerno near Naples, had been suspended before his arrest from his job as head of analytic accounts at the Holy See's asset-management agency APSA after being named in a separate probe into receiving money in Salerno.

Scarano is currently being held in a hospital.

In the interview, Scarano characterized himself as ''the scapegoat of a number of powerful Vatican (figures) against whom the pope, illuminated by the Holy Spirit, is already taking wise decisions''. Scarano called on Pope Francis to hear him ''at least once'' before judging and condemning him.

''His words against me have pained me deeply,'' Scarano said after the pope said in July that he was hurt by the case and suggested he thought the prelate was guilty.

Regarding nearly three million euros found in his bank accounts, Scarano said: ''they are donations and savings of 40 years of work and priestly ministry''.

Scarano called the funds ''savings carefully treasured to carry out my final wish - a home for the sick''.

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