Danny McCance 25 Sep 2017 04:53pm

Former Vatican auditor-general claims he was "set-up"

The former auditor-general Libero Milone alleged that individuals in the Vatican had conspired to force him out during his independent investigation

According to reports from Reuters, Milone claimed that there were machinations within the Vatican to slow down Pope Francis’s financial reforms.

Milone, the former chairman of Deloitte Italy, was originally hired by Pope Francis in 2015 as an independent auditor tasked with cleaning up questionable finances.

His appointment came a month before over €1bn hidden off the Vatican’s books were identified by Cardinal George Pell.

However, less than two years into his five-year contract, Milone abruptly left the Vatican in June this year.

In a meeting with reporters at his house yesterday, he alleged that he was forced out under threats of prosecution. He claimed the charges were “fabricated”.

In response, Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu, secretary of state for the Holy See said, “If [Milone] had not agreed to resign, we would have prosecuted him.”

Becciu alleged that Milone “went against all the rules and was spying on the private lives of his superiors and staff”.

The Vatican insists that Milone misused funds to hire a private firm to check the security of computers in the Vatican offices, which it claimed was in violation of his department.

Milone’s claim was that he had hired a private company to check for suspected tampering on his and his staff’s devices.

He went on explain that he had set out his view that he was “set-up” in a letter to the Pope in mid-July, to which he has not had a reply.

In 2016, only months after hiring PwC to do its first ever external audit, the Vatican suspended the Big Four firms operation.