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Rome court refuses to place disgraced prelate under house arrest

July 9, 2013 at 10:36 AM

ROME, July 9 (UPI) -- A court in Rome has turned down a request to allow Monsignor Nunzio Scarano to be released from jail and placed under house arrest.

Scarano, the disgraced prelate at the center of a money-laundering scandal, was arrested last month on suspicion of planning to elude customs with nearly $26 million in cash, the official Italian news agency ANSA reported Tuesday.

He has denied accusations that he conspired with a former Italian spy and a financial broker to try to secretly repatriate money from Switzerland to Italy.

Police said Scarano and agent Giovanni Maria Zito of the AISI intelligence agency hired a private jet to fly back from Switzerland to Italy with the cash.

Zito and Rome broker Giovanni Carenzio were arrested along with Scarano.

The arrests have been linked by Italian media to past probes into alleged irregularities at the Vatican Bank.

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