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Experts: Financier Was Murdered

October 25, 2002

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ROME (AP) _ Roberto Calvi, the Vatican-connected financier implicated in Italy’s biggest postwar banking scandal, was a murder victim and not a suicide, a panel of forensic experts reportedly has concluded 20 years after his death.

A Rome tribunal appointed the experts to look at new evidence, including a re-examination of Roberto Calvi’s body, which Italian authorities ordered exhumed in 1998.

Italian newspaper, television and radio reports said the experts found that Calvi was murdered. In reaction to the reports, Rome prosecutor Salvatore Vecchione said the findings have yet to be officially handed over to the tribunal.

Calvi’s body was found hanging under a London bridge in 1982 within days of the collapse of Banco Ambrosiano, of which he was president and in which the Vatican’s bank held a significant stake.

The experts could not find any injuries to Calvi’s neck such as those normally associated with death by hanging, news reports said. An inspection of Calvi’s hands showed he had never touched stones that were found in the pockets of the clothes he was wearing, the reports said. This suggested Calvi was dead when he was brought onto the bridge, the reports said.

Calvi’s family has long contended that he was slain. A London coroner’s jury could not decide if the death was suicide or homicide.

Calvi was dubbed ``God’s Banker,″ because of his ties with the Vatican’s bank and its former top official, Archbishop Paul C. Marcinkus.

When the Banco Ambrosiano collapsed following the disappearance of $1.3 billion, the Vatican’s bank eventually agreed to pay $250 million to the Italian bank’s creditors but denied any wrongdoing. Marcinkus also denied wrongdoing. He lives in retirement in the United States.

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