Four may face trial as inquiry implicates Mafia over 1982 murder of 'God's banker'

Four suspects for the murder of Roberto Calvi, the Italian banker found hanging under Blackfriars Bridge in London 21 years ago, could soon face trial, his son said yesterday.

"I think in the next few months there will be a trial against the four individuals who have been named," Carlo Calvi said. He added he was "very pleased" prosecutors in Rome had concluded that his father had been murdered.

Roberto Calvi - nicknamed God's banker because of his links with the Vatican - fled to London in June 1982 after the collapse of Banco Ambrosiano, the bank of which he was president, with debts of US$1.3bn (£806m). Days later he was found dead, hanging from scaffolding with bricks in his pockets and stuffed down his trousers, and $15,000 in cash.

Thus began a mystery that implicated Italy's most feared crime gangs, the Sicilian Mafia and the Neapolitan Camorra, as well as the powerful "P2" Masonic lodge, known for years as Italy's shadow government, and the Institute for Religious Works, the Vatican's bank. It was said that the bank grew rich by enabling the Mob to launder huge sums through its branches abroad.

Last year, a controversial film about Calvi's death which showed him to have been murdered was forced off the screens after one of the four men named this week by prosecutors, the businessman Flavio Carboni, claimed that it damaged his reputation.

The first inquest into Calvi's death, carried out in the UK, concluded that he had committed suicide. But Calvi's family, including his widow and Carlo, also a banker, both now living in Canada, were convinced he had been murdered.

A second inquest in London returned an open verdict. Then, five years ago, prosecutors in Rome agreed to set up an independent inquiry to look in to every aspect of Calvi's death and the events surrounding it.

The inquiry got an unexpected boost when embalmed remains of the dead banker were found in Milan's Institute of Forensic Medicine, having been missing for 20 years.

The inquiry was headed by a German pathologist, and his team included a forensic anthropologist and a toxicologist. Last October they concluded that Calvi had probably been murdered and later strung up under the bridge to make it look like suicide.

The inquiry said the wounds on Calvi's neck were compatible with strangulation and that there was no evidence to suggest he had put the bricks in his clothing himself. Most damningly, they concluded it would have been impossible for him to have reached unaided the place on the scaffolding from which he was found dangling. Then in December, a Mafia supergrass called Antonio Giuffre told police that Calvi had been murdered because Mafia bosses were angry at the way he had mishandled their money. He said that Pippo Calo, a convicted Mafioso, was the man who organised the crime.

Now Rome's prosecutors have endorsed those conclusions. They have sent notices to the four suspects, giving them 20 days to reply to the accusations or face formal charges. The four are Calo, who is serving several life sentences in prison; Flavio Carboni, the businessman who escorted Calvi to London; Ernesto Diotavelli, a leading figure in Rome's underworld; and Manuela Kleinszig, an Austrian citizen and, at the time, a girlfriend of Mr Carboni's.

The prosecutors have adduced three motives for Calvi's murder. First, the Mafia decided to punish him for mismanaging their money. Second, to shut his mouth permanently to prevent his exhaustive knowledge of the laundering of Mafia funds from reaching the public domain. And third, as a way to silencepoliticians, civil servants, members of the P2 masonic lodge and senior figures in the Institute for Religious Works with knowledge of Mafia money laundering.

In reaching these conclusions, the inquiry studied the flow of funds through foreign branches of Banco Ambrosiano - in Panama, the Bahamas, Peru, Nicaragua and other countries - amounting to $1.3bn.

After the news of the prosecutors' conclusions broke, a former member of the P2 masonic lodge, Licio Gelli, said: "For me the event is already closed. Only God can tell the truth about it." But the family of Roberto Calvi retain their faith in human justice. In addition to a trial in Italy, they hope for a new inquest in the UK, because, Carlo Calvi said, "we would like to have the same results in the two jurisdictions".

THE SUSPECTS

The four named by the prosecutors have long been linked to Calvi's death. Known as "the Mafia's cashier", Pippo Calo, a Mafia boss serving life terms in jail, had an interest in the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in laundered Mob money when Banco Ambrosiano went bust in 1982. Two years ago, Calo became the first Sicilian mobster publicly to acknowledge the existence of the Mafia.

Flavio Carboni was a wealthy businessman with Mafia connections and a former member of the P2 masonic lodge, who accompanied Calvi to London when the bank went bust. Last year he forced a film about the Calvi scandal, God's Bankers, off the screens. He had to deposit £1m with a court to compensate the film's producers if he was ever found guilty of Calvi's death. The others are Ernesto Diotavelli, a senior figure in Rome's criminal underworld and long-term friend of Mr Carboni; and Manuela Kleinszig, an Austrian described by Carlo Calvi as "one of Carboni's girlfriends at the time [of Roberto Calvi's death]". The prosecutors have a list of six other people who may be indicted, but have kept the names secret.

News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to American media group
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidate on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Solutions Architect - Permanent - London - £70k DOE

£60000 - £70000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

General Cover Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: Great opportunities for Cover...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?