Vatican bank president in laundering probe is sacked

The president of the Vatican bank was ousted yesterday after receiving a unanimous vote of no-confidence from bank overseers for having leaked documents and failed to do his job at a critical time in the Holy See's efforts to show financial transparency.

Ettore Gotti Tedeschi has been a polarising figure since he was named president of the bank, known as the Institute for Religious Works, or IOR, in 2009. He is under investigation for alleged money laundering by Italian magistrates, but the investigation isn't believed to have factored into the decision since the Vatican considers the probe to be motivated by outside political interests.

The Vatican said in a statement that the vote was taken because of Mr Gotti Tedeschi's failure to fulfill the "primary functions of his office". He has told prosecutors that he barely paid attention to the bank's works, showing up only two days a week while tending to his primary position as head of Spain's Banco Santander's Italian unit in Milan.

In addition, Mr Gotti Tedeschi was found to have leaked confidential documents to serve his personal and political interests, according to a person familiar with the investigation.