Calvi 'was murdered', tests find

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The Independent Online
ROBERTO CALVI, the Italian banker found hanging beneath a London bridge 10 years ago, was murdered, according to a report being sent to the Home Secretary.

Calvi, known as 'God's Banker' because of his close financial ties to the Vatican, was found hanging from scaffolding beneath Blackfriars Bridge in June 1982. An inquest supported the police's initial belief that he killed himself because he faced ruin through the imminent collapse of the Banco Ambrosiano, one of Europe's largest banks, of which he was chairman. He had travelled secretly to London days before the collapse. It was later discovered that more than pounds 700m had been looted from the bank.

Lawyers acting for Calvi's family successfully challenged the inquest result. A second inquest, a year later, returned an open verdict.

Speculation that Calvi was murdered has been rife since the body was discovered, but the his relatives now claim they have hard evidence. They have sent the Home Secretary, Kenneth Clarke, a forensic report which, they say, provides 'almost inescapable' evidence of murder.

They want a fresh investigation. 'We believe that if further official inquiries are now made it will be possible to gather enough admissible evidence, even after 10 years, to bring the killers to justice,' say Calvi's widow, Clara, and her son Carlo, who live in Canada. They have always believed Calvi was murdered, and hired the private investigators Kroll Associates to re-examine the case. Kroll employed former Home Office and Scotland Yard forensic scientists to analyse Calvi's clothing and the scaffolding he was hanging from.

Using techniques not available in 1982, they believe they can pinpoint his death to between 1.50am and 2.40am. This coincided with high tide, which would have made it impossible for Calvi to have climbed the scaffolding around the bridge from the Thames foreshore - one explanation of how he might have committed suicide. The investigation is continuing.