David Rossi

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7 March 2013 Last updated at 05:17 ET
Italy's MPS bank's David Rossi found dead in Siena 

The communications director of troubled Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) has died in an apparent suicide.

David Rossi's body was found beneath an open window at the bank's 14th Century headquarters in Siena.

Mr Rossi was among several MPS employees whose homes and offices were searched by police last month - though no charges were brought against him.

MPS, which is the world's oldest surviving bank, is at the centre of fraud and corruption allegations.

David Rossi, communications director of Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena
David Rossi was reportedly "under pressure"
Investigations are under way into how hundreds of millions of euros went missing amid risky investments in complex financial deals.

The bank has needed a multi-billion-euro bailout from the Italian state to help cover its losses.

"The death of David Rossi is a terrible tragedy," Monte dei Paschi said on its Facebook page.

"This tragic event imposes first of all respect for his person, for the mourning of his family and for all of us, and calls on us to find the strength and the courage to go ahead and continue in our commitment."

Andrea Greco, a reporter for Italian newspaper La Repubblica who knew Mr Rossi, said: "He was a very serious person, under pressure over a judicial probe which had touched on him through a recent police search, even if he was not under investigation."

Mysterious death of Italian banking executive to be re-examined amid murder claims

David Ross
Prosecutors in Siena order body of David Rossi to be exhumed after family say he was killed for knowing too much about bank's financial meltdown Credit: Reuters
Nick Squires, in Rome
23 March 2016 • 3:24pm

The mysterious death of an executive who worked for the world's oldest bank is to be re-examined after Italian prosecutors ordered that his body be exhumed.

David Rossi, who was the head of communications for Monte dei Paschi di Siena bank, which was founded in 1472, died after falling - or being pushed - from a third floor window of the bank's headquarters in a 14th century palazzo in the Tuscan city of Siena.

His death in March 2013 came at a time when the bank was pushed close to the brink of collapse over a scandal involving the loss of hundreds of millions of euros through risky investments.

An initial post-mortem found that Mr Rossi, 51, had killed himself, but his family strongly suspect that he was murdered because he knew too much about the bank’s shady financial deals.

Prosecutors in Siena, where the bank is based, have ordered his body to be exhumed and for the trajectory of his fall to be simulated, in an attempt to discover exactly how he died.

The exhumation is likely to take place next month.

His family say there were several suspicious elements to the death.
David Rossi Credit: Photo: REUTERS/Stringer

Mr Rossi fell from his office at around 8pm on March 6, 2013, and landed in a darkened alleyway but did not die immediately – he was alive for 22 minutes, investigators believe.

Security camera footage showed one or two shadowy figures appear at the end of the alley, apparently checking that there was no chance he would survive.

The bank executive had bruises and scratches on his arms and wrists which suggested that he may have been gripped forcibly by one or two assailants before being pushed out of the window.

On the back of his head was a deep, L-shaped gash which indicated that he may have been hit with a blunt object before falling from the window.

Three apparent suicide notes were found crumpled in a bin in his study, but Antonella Tognazzi, his widow, said they contained phrases that her husband would never have used.

One of them said: “Ciao, Toni, my love. I’m sorry.”

“He never called me Toni, he always called me Antonella,” his widow said.

A handwriting expert who analysed the notes said they seemed to have been written under duress.

Another unexplained element is the fact that 33 minutes after Mr Rossi fell from his office window, a call was made on his mobile phone.

At exactly the same moment, the CCTV footage showed an object falling onto the ground and landing a few feet from the body; it was later found to be Mr Rossi’s watch, minus the strap.

“We’ve been waiting a long time for the investigation to be reopened,” said Ms Tognazzi.

“It’s what we had been hoping for – it’s an important sign on the part of the judiciary. I have never believed he committed suicide.”

© Telegraph Media Group Limited 2017


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