Archbishop of Naples faces loan shark charges
Saturday 20 November 1999
After an inquiry lasting two and a half years, public prosecutors in the southern town of Lagonegro want Cardinal Michele Giordano, his brother, Mario Lucio Giordano, and 30 others to go on trial for their part in a usury racket in the Giordanos' home town of Sant'Arcangelo. The prelate of Naples responded that he was serene in the knowledge he was "pure inside". "I know that, and someone up there knows it too," he told journalists.
The inquiry began in 1997 after two businessmen in Sant'Arcangelo told police they had been ruined by a "credit co-operative" that applied interest rates that in some cases exceeded 200 per cent per annum. The co-operative was run by Mario Lucio Giordano and a local banker, Filippo Lemma.
A paper trail led the Guardia di Finanza, the financial police, to the diocesan palace inNaples. Among the documents seized from the co- operative were blank cheques signed by Cardinal Giordano made out to his brother, and drawn on diocesan bank accounts. More than 1.4bn lira (pounds 500,000) was channelled from Naples in three years, to help to keep the credit co-operative solvent.
Last year, the Vatican protested after magistrates ordered searches and phone taps of the diocesan offices. It argued that the diplomatic and territorial immunity set out in the concordato, the accord between Italy and the tiny church state, had been breached and that Cardinal Giordano's superiors should have been informed in advance of the searches. Italy's ambassador to the Vatican was summoned for discussions but the Italian government later said there had been no breach of the pact.
- 1 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 2 Kate Moss: Previously unpublished nude photo revealed by Mert and Marcus
- 4 World Book Day: Boy 'excluded' from school after dressing up as Fifty Shades' Christian Grey
- 5 Bad Jews poster 'censored' on London Tube
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Elif Shafak: Turkish author warns against rise of British nationalism
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'
£65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...
£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...
£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...
£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...