Frances D’emilio, Associated Press Monday, November 30, 2015
VATICAN CITY (AP) — A Vatican judge on Monday granted more time for the defense to prepare for a trial over the leak of confidential documents that has put a Spanish monsignor, a pair of Italian journalists and two others in the dock.
The documents detailed alleged greed, wasteful spending and poor management inside the Vatican.
The details of the leaked documents were published earlier this month in fast-selling books by the journalists who also exposed power struggles over Pope Francis’ efforts to reform finances and bureaucracy and to eradicate careerism and intrigue at the world headquarters of the Roman Catholic church.
After barely 15 minutes, Judge Giuseppe Della Torre adjourned Monday’s session to Dec. 7 to allow more time to prepare the defense of Francesca Chaouqui, a PR specialist who had served on a panel advising Francis about economic reform and who has boasted of close ties with top prelates. The delay was granted because she engaged a different lawyer late last week.
“I don’t understand anything. There is not one bit of evidence against me,” Chaouqui told a small pool of reporters allowed to attend the trial. “We have to discover in these five days why I am here” as a defendant. The judge said Chaouqui’s lawyer would have five days to formally lodge any observations or potential objections after studying the case.
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