The head of the Vatican bank has been formally placed under investigation by judges looking into claims of money-laundering.
A statement from the Vatican says it is “perplexed” and “surprised” by the action taken against Ettore Gotti Tedeschi.
The bank, located inside the Vatican City, is officially known as the Institute for Religious Works.
It was at the centre of a fraud scandal in the 1980s, linked to the collapse of Banco Ambrosiano, then Italy’s largest private bank.
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