Vatican bank chief questions money-laundering probe and says bank's image badly damaged

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The chairman of the Vatican bank is questioning why Italian prosecutors seized euro23 million ($30 million) from a Vatican bank account for alleged violations of Italy's anti-money laundering laws.

Ettore Gotti Tedeschi said in an e-mail exchange Friday with The Associated Press that the bank's image may have been "irreparably" damage by widespread news of the investigation. Prosecutors have placed him under investigation.

Gotti Tedeschi said bank officials were following required procedures but asked why they were put in a situation where they had to follow those requirements.

He said accusations of money laundering by the bank are false and the bank has been working with the Bank of Italy to conform to Italian anti-money laundering requirements.