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Authors: Philip Willan

The Last Supper

 

PHILIP WILLAN
has worked as a freelance journalist in Rome for more than 20 years and has specialized in covering the murky side of Italian cold war politics. He contributed research to David Yallop’s best-selling book
In God’s Name
, on the alleged murder of Pope John Paul I and he later helped Charles Raw with his research for
The Money Changers
, an examination of the relationship between the Vatican and the Banco Ambrosiano, and the events leading up to Roberto Calvi’s death. His first book,
Puppetmasters: The Political Use of Terrorism in Italy
was published by Constable in 1991.

T
HE
L
AST
S
UPPER

The Mafia, the Masons and the
Killing of Roberto Calvi

PHILIP WILLAN

ROBINSON
London

 

 

 

 

Constable & Robinson Ltd

55–56 Russell Square

London WC1B 4HP

www.constablerobinson.com

First published in the UK by Robinson,

an imprint of Constable & Robinson Ltd, 2007

Copyright © Philip Willan 2007

The right of Philip Willan to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988.

All rights reserved. This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out or otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

A copy of the British Library Cataloguing in

Publication Data is available from the British Library.

ISBN 978-1-84529-296-6
eISBN 978-1-47211-223-1

Printed and bound in the EU

1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2

Cover photographs: Roberto Calvi (centre) AFP/Getty Images.;
Roberto Calvi (bottom) TopFoto. Blackfrairs Bridge, Corbis.;
Cover design: Simon Levy

 

 

 

 

To my parents

Contents

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgements

Notes on Text

List of Abbreviations

Chronology

The Cast

Introduction

Prologue: Dinner at San Lorenzo’s

1   The Hanged Man

2   Source ‘Podgora’

3   God’s Banker

4   The Ministry of Fear

5   The Bologna Bombing

6   Don Michele

7   The Secret Network

8   Meeting Licio

9   Vatican Entanglements

10   The Gorilla

11   Enter Carboni, Armed with a Cheese

12   The British Connections

13   On the Road

14   London

15   Water Under the Bridge

16   Slow Progress

17   Trials and Tribulations

18   The Politics

Notes

Index

List of Illustrations

The banker, Roberto Calvi

(
Courtesy of Carlo Calvi
)

Roberto Calvi in uniform as an officer of the Novara Lancers

(
Courtesy of Carlo Calvi
)

Roberto Calvi horse riding

(
Courtesy of Carlo Calvi
)

Roberto Calvi with his wife, Clara

(
Courtesy of Carlo Calvi
)

The Milan headquarters of the Banco Ambrosiano

(
Photograph taken by Philip Willan
)

Roberto Calvi’s bedroom in flat 881 at Chelsea Cloisters

(
Evidence photograph from the Rome murder trial
)

Roberto Calvi’s false passport in the name of Gian Roberto Calvini

(
Evidence photograph from the Rome murder trial
)

The scaffolding under the north arch of Blackfriars Bridge from which Calvi was found hanging on the morning of 18 June 1982

(
Evidence photograph from the Rome murder trial
)

Roberto Calvi’s body at Waterloo Pier

(
Evidence photograph from the Rome murder trial
)

The rope used to hang Roberto Calvi

(
Evidence photograph from the Rome murder trial
)

Roberto Calvi’s Patek Philippe watch found on his body

(
Evidence photograph from the Rome murder trial
)

Documents found on Calvi’s body

(
Evidence photograph from the Rome murder trial
)

Flavio Carboni, the Sardinian businessman who organized Calvi’s journey and is accused of delivering him to his assassins

(
Photograph taken by Philip Willan
)

Silvano Vittor, the Trieste smuggler who accompanied Calvi to London as a companion and bodyguard

(
Photograph taken by Philip Willan
)

Giuseppe ‘Pippo’ Calò, the mafia boss accused of ordering Calvi’s murder to punish him for losing Cosa Nostra’s money

(
Photograph taken by Philip Willan
)

Ernesto Diotallevi, a businessman from Rome who denies links to the Rome underworld and any involvement in the Calvi murder

(
Courtesy of ANSA
)

Giulio Andreotti, the former primer minister of Italy, at his trial in Palermo for collusion with the mafia

(
Courtesy of ANSA
)

Licio Gelli, the head of the P2 masonic lodge

(
Photograph taken by Philip Willan
)

Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, the head of the Vatican bank

(
Photograph taken by Chris Warde-Jones
)

Michele Sindona, the Sicilian banker who initiated Calvi into the mysteries of offshore banking

(
Courtesy of ANSA
)

Eligio Paoli, an informant of the finance police known as ‘Source Podgora’

(
Photograph taken by Philip Willan
)

Carlo Calvi, Roberto Calvi’s son

(
Photograph taken by Philip Willan
)

Francesco Pazienza, consultant to Calvi and to the Italian secret services

(
Courtesy of ANSA
)

Acknowledgements

Many people helped me with the research for this book, with varying degrees of enthusiasm. I would particularly like to thank the following: Giacomo Botta, Carlo Calvi, Jenny Chryss, Robert Clarke, John Cornwell, Andrea De Gasperis, Fiore De Rienzo, Piero Gamacchio, Frank Garbely, Aldo Giannuli, David Harness, Bill Hopkins, Gerald James, Jeff Katz, Lovat MacDonald, Andreas Mytze, Dario Piccioni, Charles Raw, Arcelia Rodriguez, Roberto Rosone, Bruno Rossini, Sidney Rotalinti, Sue Stuart, Luca Tescaroli, Felipe Turover and John White. A special thanks to my wife, Cristina, for her patience in the tenser times. This book is dedicated to my parents, who gave their support despite misgivings about its theme.

Notes on Text

Currency rates:

Between 1970 and 1982 the value of the pound moved between a low of around 1,400 lire and a peak of about 2,400 lire. An average conversion rate for the period of this story would be around L2,000 to £1. During the same period the dollar rose against the lira from a low of about 600 lire to a high of about 1,400 lire in 1982. Dividing lira figures by 1,000 gives a ballpark dollar conversion for the period.

P2 membership:

The Parliamentary P2 Commission concluded that the lodge membership lists found in the possession of Licio Gelli are an accurate guide to the lodge’s adherents. Some of those named in the lists disagree.

Notes on sources:

Much of the information in this book is drawn from the mass of documents presented by the prosecution to the trial in Rome of the five people accused of Roberto Calvi’s murder. Made available to the parties on DVD and CD-Rom, the documents have such an incomprehensible indexing system that I have not attempted to identify them in the endnotes. Where quotations were originally in Italian, the English translations are mine.

List of Abbreviations

APSA
Vatican financial institution, Amministrazione del Patrimonio della Sede Apostolica (Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See).

Avanguardia Nazionale
(National Vanguard) Italian rightist organization founded by Stefano Delle Chiaie.

Bafisud
Umberto Ortolani’s Uruguayan bank, Banco Financiero Sudamericano.

BAOL
Banco Ambrosiano Overseas Ltd (formerly Cisalpine Overseas Bank), key Ambrosiano offshore subsidiary in Nassau, Bahamas.

BCCI
Bank of Credit and Commerce International.

BNL
Socialist/P2-controlled Banca Nazionale del Lavoro.

CIA
US Central Intelligence Agency.

DC
Italian Christian Democrat party, Democrazia Cristiana.

DEA
US Drug Enforcement Agency.

DIA
US Defense Intelligence Agency.

ENI
Italian national oil company, Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi.

FBI
US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

FCO
Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (foreign ministry).

Grey Wolves
Right-wing nationalist movement in Turkey, implicated in plot to kill Pope John Paul II in 1981.

IOR
The Vatican bank,
Istituto per le Opere di Religione
(Institute for the Works of Religion).

KGB
Soviet intelligence service.

Mani Pulite
(Clean Hands) Massive corruption investigation in Italy in the 1990s, also known as
Tangentopoli
(Bribesville).

MI5
Britain’s domestic intelligence service.

MI6
Britain’s foreign intelligence service, also known as the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS).

OSS
US Office of Strategic Services, forerunner of the CIA.

P2
Licio Gelli’s secret masonic lodge, Propaganda Due.

PCI
Italian Communist party, Partito Comunista Italiano.

PRB
Belgian arms company, Poudreries Réunies de Belgique.

Pro Fratribus
Catholic charitable organization assisting the persecuted church behind the Iron Curtain. Founded in 1970.

PSI
Italian Socialist party, Partito Socialista Italiano.

RAI
Italian state-controlled broadcaster, Radiotelevisione Italiana.

Red Brigades
Italian left-wing terrorist organization (Brigate Rosse – BR).

SIFAR
Armed forces intelligence service, Servizio Informazioni Forze Armate.

SIH
Shipping Industrial Holdings, British shipping company in which Banco Ambrosiano took a stake.

SISDE
Italian domestic intelligence service, Servizio per le Informazioni e la Sicurezza Democratica.

SISMI
Italian military intelligence service, Servizio per le Informazioni e la Sicurezza Militare.

SOE
Special Operations Executive, Britain’s clandestine warfare organization during the Second World War.

SRC
Gerald Bull’s Space Research Corporation.

UBS
Union Bank of Switzerland.

Chronology

1971: Roberto Calvi appointed director general of the Banco Ambrosiano. Archbishop Paul Marcinkus appointed president of the IOR.

23 Mar.
Cisalpine Overseas Bank founded in Nassau. Marcinkus takes a seat on the board.

1972: Calvi buys the Banca Cattolica del Veneto from the IOR for 27 billion lire.

1974:
8 Oct.
Michele Sindona’s Franklin National Bank is declared bankrupt.

11 Oct.
Calvi named
Cavaliere del Lavoro
(Knight of Labour).

1975:
23 Aug.
Calvi initiated as a freemason in Geneva.

19 Nov.
Calvi becomes chairman of the Banco Ambrosiano.

1977:
3 Nov.
Luigi Cavallo puts up posters in Milan attacking Calvi.

1978:
17 Apr.
Bank of Italy inspectors begin a seven-month examination of the Banco Ambrosiano’s books.

17 Nov.
Chief inspector Giulio Padalino produces a 500-page report. Verdict: ‘Not entirely favourable.’

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