Vatican Prosecution Witnesses Testify at "Vatileaks" Trial
By Junno Arocho
April 29, 2016
The first witnesses called by the Vatican prosecution in a case involving leaked documents testified about suspicious secret meetings and excessive photocopying of sensitive documents.
Three former and current staff members of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See took the stand in the Vatican courtroom in late April during the trial of Spanish Msgr. Lucio Vallejo Balda, his former executive secretary and assistant, Nicola Maio, and Francesca Chaouqui, a member of the former Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See (COSEA).
The defendants are accused of leaking documents about Vatican finances and financial reform to Italian journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi.
Stefano Fralleoni, former accountant general of the prefecture, took the stand April 26, and said COSEA's investigations into the Vatican's finances, including those of the prefecture, caused a "fracture" within the office's staff. Fralleoni said he felt he was considered an "enemy" by Vallejo Balda and Msgr. Alfredo Abbondi, another official who worked at the prefecture.
Although not members of the commission, Abbondi and Maio often would meet behind closed doors with Vallejo Balda and Chaouqui, which led to further suspicions and tensions among the prefecture staff, Fralleoni said.