The mystery surrounding the death of an official at the world’s oldest bank has taken a sinister new twist with claims that a supposed suicide note that he sent to colleagues was written two days after he died.
David Rossi, 51, was the head of communications for Monte dei Paschi, a bank in Siena in Tuscany which was founded in 1472, when he fell to his death from his office window in 2013.
An inquest concluded that he died by suicide but there have long been suspicions that he may have been murdered for what he knew of the bank’s deep financial problems as it lost millions of euros in risky investments.
Mr Rossi allegedly sent an email on March 4, 2013, to a senior bank official in which he wrote: “This evening I’m going to commit suicide, I’m serious. Help me.”
He died two days later, having apparently thrown himself out of the window of his office, his body landing in a narrow alleyway.
But Italian police now believe the email was composed on March 7, the day after his death, with a false time stamp or purported delivery date of March 4.
David Rossi was the bank's head of communications
The new revelation was reported by Espresso, a respected news weekly, which cited an investigation by Italy’s postal police, a division which deals with internet crimes including fraud and child pornography.
Throwing further doubt on the suicide theory, Fabrio Viola, the bank official to whom the suicide note was sent, told police that he could not remember receiving the email on March 4.
Pierantonio Zanettin, the head of a parliamentary commission which has studied the case, called for police to provide further details about the anomalies in the timing of the email.
A lawyer for Mr Rossi’s family said the investigation into his death should be reopened. The family have long believed that Mr Rossi was murdered because he knew too much about the bank’s millions of euros of losses in risky investments through complex financial deals.
His wife, Antonella Tognazzi, has insisted he would never have killed himself and thinks he was murdered.
“We are calling for more details to be released about the email which the postal police have declared false,” said Carmelo Miceli. He said the email evidence should be added to the fact that Mr Rossi’s body had injuries which were “not compatible” with suicide.
Marks on his wrists and an injury to his head suggested he may have been assaulted by a person or persons before being pushed from the window.
The trajectory of his fall was also suspicious – CCTV footage showed him falling backwards from his office window, slamming into the ground on his back. Had he jumped, he would have been facing forwards.
Security footage showed two men walk into the alleyway, check on the body, offer no help and then walk away.