The controversial trial of five people involved in the latest Vatican leaks scandal was adjourned Monday until next week after one of the accused asked for more time to prepare her defence.
Francesca Chaouqui, a PR expert who faces up to eight years in prison for leaking classified documents to journalists, asked for five days to study the prosecution case against her and possibly introduce new evidence after replacing her court-appointed lawyer with her own defence counsel.
The prosecution did not object and the presiding judge said the case would resume on December 7, effectively dashing the hopes of Vatican officials that the high-profile case might be wrapped up before the official start of a Catholic Jubilee year the following day.
Chaouqui said she still had no idea of what she was supposed to have done.
“I don’t understand anything,” she told reporters after Monday’s brief hearing. “There is no proof against me. I need this extra time to understand why I am here.”
The Vatican has been widely criticised for pursuing the prosecution of two Italian journalists, Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi, over leaks which they used as the basis for books depicting irregularities and extravagance in the Holy See’s spending.
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