Vatileaks 2 Trial Adjourned to April 6
March 17, 2016
Vatican City, March 17 - The so-called Vatileaks 2 trial into the leaking and publishing of confidential Vatican documents was adjourned Thursday until April 6.
The trial was adjourned after PR expert Francesca Chaouqui, one of the five defendants, presented medical papers showing she needed "a period of absolute rest" since she is six-months pregnant.
This week the Vatican tribunal heard testimony from Monsignor Lucio Vallejo Balda, another of the defendants, on the leaking of classified Holy See documents to two investigative reporters.
On Monday the Spanish prelate, a former member of the now-defunct COSEA commission set up to advise Pope Francis on the reform of the Holy See's economic and administrative structure, admitted leaking the documents.
"Yes, I handed over documents," Vallejo Balda told the court, adding that he had acted under pressure from co-defendant Chaouqui who allegedly also tried to seduce him.
"Francesca said she belonged to the secret services, indeed that she was the number two in the Italian secret services," he said of the PR expert and fellow COSEA member.
Vallejo Balda then said he "handed over a list of five pages with 87 passwords" to journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi.
Nuzzi, along with Emiliano Fittipaldi, is on trial for spreading classified information.
"But I had the feeling he had them already," he continued.
"Perhaps I wasn't fully lucid, and I also thought my email had already been looked at," the prelate said.
Vallejo Balda also described an alleged shadow committee within COESA that acted with the aim of passing documents to the press.
"When I tried to understand Chaouqui's world she took me to lunch with Luigi Bisignani, Paolo Berlusconi, Gianni Letta, people who are well known within the Holy See," he said.
"I didn't have the judicial certainty or the proof, but the moral certainty that Francesca had other not entirely legitimate interests," Vallejo Balda added.
In his testimony the prelate spoke of "exchanging" documents with Fittipaldi and said he believed Nuzzi had been informed about his personal affairs by Chaouqui.
He said he had to seek psychological help due to the stress.
The defence witnesses are expected to be heard after Easter.
Fittipaldi and Nuzzi are on trial for using the documents to write two expose-style books, respectively Avarice and The Way of the Cross, which respectively examine the Vatican's financial empire and Pope Francis's efforts to bring about reform. The fifth defendant is Vallejo Balda's former assistant, Nicola Maio.