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Trial Date Set for Cleric in Vatican Scandal

Monsignor Nunzio Scarano in Salerno, Italy, undated file photo.
A prelate and former Vatican finance official at the center of a money-laundering investigation will appear in court on December 3, judicial sources said on Friday.

Monsignor Nunzio Scarano is accused along with a secret service agent and a financial broker of conspiring to smuggle millions of euros out of Switzerland for rich shipbuilder friends in his home town of Salerno, near Naples, in southern Italy.

The case has added to the clouds over the Vatican Bank, formally known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR).

Although no evidence has emerged that could link the IOR directly to the charges against Scarano, the bank was already caught up in an investigation into suspected money laundering, which eventually led investigators to him.

Scarano's lawyer has denied that the cleric laundered any money and said rich friends had given him funds to build a home for the terminally ill.

The trial will be conducted as a so-called "rito immediato," a special accelerated procedure that allows a case to be heard without a preliminary hearing.