Vatican accuses woman at heart of leaks trial of ‘calumny’


By Ines San Martin
Vatican correspondent May 27, 2016

ROME—As the soap-opera of a Vatican trial against three former members of a papal commission and two journalists accused of leaking secret documents continues to unravel, the pope’s spokesman on Thursday said that statements made by one of the defendants during the trial may be “subject to legal action.”

On Tuesday, Francesca Chaouqui, an Italian lay PR expert who worked at the Vatican on a now-defunct papal panel studying financial reform, and who is one of the five people being prosecuted, accused a high-ranking Vatican official of “waging a war against her” during testimony.

Chaouqui, who’s almost nine months pregnant, amplified that charge on her Facebook page, where she wrote that Italian Archbishop Angelo Giovanni Becciu, the number two official at the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, has staked his credibility on her going to prison, so she’ll be “condemned without evidence.”

She also wrote that she’s “not afraid of four feet of pure evil,” in reference to Becciu’s diminutive height, and that she stands by her accusations.

Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican’s spokesman, released a statement Thursday responding both to her sworn testimony and her subsequent Facebook post.

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