Vatican allows more defence witnesses in leaks trial

Vatican City, Dec 8 (IANS/AKI) A Vatican court agreed to allow second-in-command and other top advisers to Pope Francis be witnesses in the trial of five people over the leaks of stolen confidential Vatican documents.

It remains to be seen if secretary of state Cardinal Pietro Parolin will actually testify, or Cardinal Santos Abril y Castello, the president of the Commission of Cardinals of the Vatican bank, another possible witness.

The court’s decision followed a request by defendant Francesca Chaouqui, a public relations expert who along with a senior clergyman and his assistant are accused of forming a criminal organisation and of stealing and leaking the confidential documents.

The trio faces up to 10 years in jail if found guilty.

Also in the dock are two Italian journalists who used the documents in recently published tell-all books detailing greed, corruption and poor management by senior churchmen and resistance by the old guard to Pope’s attempts to reform the Vatican.

The reporters were accused of publishing news based on confidential Holy See documents and of “soliciting and exercising pressure” to obtain the documents. They face up to eight years in prison if convicted.

The Vatican was widely criticised for prosecuting the journalists, a move seen as harming freedom of speech and information.

The court also agreed on Monday to admit more text messages and emails, as well as letters and the results of a psychiatric exam of the monsignor on trial — Lucio Vallejo Balda — as evidence.

The trial resumed on Monday after being adjourned for a week at the request of Chaouqui to allow more time to prepare her defence after she hired a new lawyer.

 

Leave a Reply

Please enter your comment!

The opinions, views, and thoughts expressed by the readers and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of www.mangalorean.com or any employee thereof. www.mangalorean.com is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the readers. Responsibility for the content of comments belongs to the commenter alone.  

We request the readers to refrain from posting defamatory, inflammatory comments and not indulge in personal attacks. However, it is obligatory on the part of www.mangalorean.com to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments to the concerned authorities upon their request.

Hence we request all our readers to help us to delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by informing us at  info@mangalorean.com. Lets work together to keep the comments clean and worthful, thereby make a difference in the community.

Please enter your name here