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Vatican monsignor denied house arrest in $26M plot

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - JUNE 16: The dome of St. Peter is seen during celebration of the mass for the 'Evangelium Vitae' Day at St. Peter's Square on June 16, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. (Photo by Giorgio Cosulich/Getty Images)
Giorgio Cosulich

VATICAN CITY The Vatican monsignor arrested in a 20 million euro ($26 million) money-smuggling plot has been denied house arrest.

A judge on Friday refused the request by Monsignor Nunzio Scarano's lawyers to let him await a decision on his fate in a monastery, ruling he must stay in Rome's Queen of Heaven prison. Attorney Silverio Sica said he would appeal.

Scarano was arrested June 28 along with two others, accused of plotting to bring 20 million euros into Italy from Switzerland without declaring it at customs.

The decision came a day after the Vatican bank president, Ernst von Freyberg, told his board that an internal investigation into the Scarano affair uncovered "clear failings" in the bank's anti-money-laundering procedures, according to excerpts of his remarks obtained Friday by The Associated Press.