European Commission to Take Legal Action against Vatican in Holocaust Money Laundering Case

November 28, 2011

European Commission to Take Legal Action against Vatican in Holocaust Money Laundering Case

Press Advisory

November 28, 2011 - Washington DC - When the European Commission referred a long running Holocaust money laundering case against the Vatican Bank to the newly organized Autorita di Informazione Finanziaria, the Vatican agency tasked with anti money laundering, it left open the possibility of legal action by the European Commission against the Vatican.

Now the attorney for over a thousand claimants is asking the European Commission to take action after the Autorita di Informazione Finanziaria deliberately ignored his complaint. Dr. Jonathan Levy is accusing the Vatican of misfeasance and violating European anti money laundering laws. The Vatican is an associate member of the Eurozone (it issues Euros) and part of the European Anti Money Laundering regime through the Vatican Bank and must adhere to certain Directives.

Levy states the Autorita di Informazione Finanziaria is merely continuing a long running fight against an audit of certain accounts at the Vatican Bank belonging to the Franciscan Order and the Diocese of Zagreb. Levy first made his request for an accounting in 1999 and went on to sue the Vatican Bank and Franciscan Order. The case was dismissed in 2010 after a United States appeals court stated it had no jurisdiction.

In correspondence earlier this year from the European Commission, an official indicated the European Commission could institute legal proceedings against the Vatican City State if it violates European anti money laundering Directives. (Benjamin Angel to Jonathan Levy, January 4, 2011).

According to Levy, the Vatican cannot continue to ignore post war money laundering allegations of gold looted from former Yugoslavia: "While we do not dispute the Vatican state answers solely to its God in matters of faith, in matters of finance the laws of Man apply."

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