The speed with which the official at the Tribunal of the Vatican City State read the names of those charged illustrates how the Vatican plans to move the case forward: quickly.
Sitting on the bench were the five defendants: Vatican employees Lucio Ángel Vallejo Balda, Francesca Chaouqui y Nicola Maio and two Italian journalists, Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi.
"Vallejo Balda, Chaouqui and Maio obtained this information and documents as part of their respective commissions on the Prefecture for Economic Affairs and the COSEA. While Fittipaldi and Nuzzi requested and exerted pressures, especially on Vallejo Balda, to obtain documents and reserved information then used for writing two books published in Italy in November 2015.”
The session began at 10:30 a.m. and ended before noon.
The main defendant, Monsignor Vallejo Balda said "okay,” that "he feels protected,” and that the Pope "wishes that the process will end soon.”
The journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi asked to speak. He said that his indictment was void because "in Italy, the conduct for which I am accused of would not be prosecuted criminally because I was not accused of publishing false or defamatory stories but having published news.”
The prosecutor replied that "the reason for the trial is the way in which they have acquired the information, that is, in a way that prosecution considers unlawful.”
Defense attorneys have until Saturday to present their evidence against the allegations.
Beginning Monday, November 30th, the trial will continue with the interrogation of five defendants and witnesses that each side chooses to present.
Their responses could worsen or ease the penalty, given that the accused are facing between four and eight years in prison.