God's Banker death mystery deepens as coroner robbed of files in Rome
May 4, 2004
JEREMY CHARLES IN ROME
A LONDON coroner involved in the investigation of the 1982 death of Italian financier Roberto Calvi has been robbed twice in Rome, losing information related to the case.
Investigators yesterday said they suspected files were stolen to order by organised criminals.
City of London coroner Paul Matthews was robbed twice in a week while visiting Rome to discuss the "Gods Banker" case with Italian investigators.
Thieves first took a laptop computer with details of the investigation after breaking into Mr Matthews hotel. Later a bag containing files was snatched as he walked through a busy station.
Yesterday a spokesman for the Anti Mafia Investigation Department in Rome said: "To have items stolen twice in a week is more than just coincidence. Once could be put down to bad luck but twice is too much and we firmly believe that Mr Matthews was deliberately targeted possibly by the Mafia while he was in Rome.
"He has told us that he is sure he was followed on several occasions and the laptop and files on the Calvi case are the only items that were taken from him."
The first theft happened while Mr Matthews was staying at the four-star Abitart Hotel in central Rome where police said someone used a passcard to get into his room and take the computer.
Mr Matthews told police he had only left his room for a few minutes and when he returned the laptop had vanished.
Days later as he walked through Romes Termini station to catch a train to the airport for his flight back to London his bag was snatched.
Authorities have arrested one man and found another in possession of a wireless internet communications card from Mr Matthews computer, local media reported.
Scotland Yard and Italian police reopened the investigation into the 1982 death of Calvi last year and four people have since been charged with his murder.
Calvi was found hanged from Blackfriars Bridge in London with bricks in his pockets. A coroner initially recorded a verdict of suicide but subsequent investigations showed it would have been impossible for him to climb up the scaffolding under the bridge and hang himself and the case was reopened.
Mr Matthews has been working with British and Italian police and last month the trial of three men and a woman accused of murder opened in Rome. It was adjourned until later this month.
Two British women have also been questioned by police in connection with the case.
Calvis Canada-based family have long suspected he was murdered by the Mafia after a bungled attempt to launder £150 million of Mob drug money.
He was known as Gods Banker because the bank of which he was director, Banco Ambrosiano, had close ties with the Vatican.