Chaouqui Arrives for Vatileaks 2 Trial
March 14, 2016
Rome, March 14 - PR expert Francesca Chaouqui, one of five defendants in the so-called Vatileaks 2 trial into the leaking of classified Holy See documents to two investigative reporters, arrived at the Vatican for a hearing on Monday afternoon accompanied by four bodyguards.
A visibly pregnant Chaouqui, wearing a black suit and pulling two wheeled suitcases, did not respond to questions from journalists as she passed through the Perugino entrance. She was preceded by Emiliano Fittipaldi, author of the bestselling 'Avarice' documenting lavish spending by clergymen and one of two journalists on trial on charges of spreading classified information. The other is Gianluigi Nuzzi, author of another controversial book, the Way of the Cross, documenting alleged Vatican waste and mismanagement. Fittipaldi was due to be the first defendant to take the stand in the trial, which also involves Monsignor Lucio Vallejo Balda and Balda's former assistant Nicola Maio.
Chaouqui, Balda and Maio are accused of criminal association and conspiracy to leak classified documents.
Balda has said he gave Nuzzi a password to a Vatican archive under pressure from Chaouqui, while the latter puts all the blame for leaking the documents on the prelate.