Vatican City, 15 March 2016 – The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., informed accredited journalists late yesterday afternoon on the hearing that took place in the Vatican at 3.30 p.m., as part of the trial for dissemination of reserved information and documents. It was attended by the College of judges (Professors Giuseppe Dalla Torre, Piero Antonio Bonnet, Paolo Papanti-Pellettier and Venerando Marano) and the Promoter of Justice (Professors Gian Piero Milano and Roberto Zannotti), and the defendants Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda, Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, Nicola Maio and Emiliano Fittipaldi with their respective lawyers, whereas the defendant Gianluigi Nuzzi was absent, and his legal representative Roberto Palombi filed for "legitimate impediment", since he is required to appear today before the criminal court in Milan in another trial. The Court rejected the claim, considering that the order for yesterday's hearing was served on 7 March, declaring Mr. Nuzzi in contumacy and ordering the continuation of the proceedings. The Court has also acquired on record a letter to the Pope from Ms. Chaouqui in which she requested dispensation from pontifical secrecy, but it was not authorised in the absence of a response from the recipient.
The hearing continued for around three hours, with the cross-examination of the defendant Msgr. Vallejo Balda by the President, the Promoter of Justice and the counsel for the defence. The trial will resume tomorrow, Tuesday, from 10.30 a.m., and will continue in the afternoon.
Further hearings are scheduled for the cross-examination of the defendants on Friday 17 March in the afternoon, Monday 21 in the morning and Tuesday 22.