After more than five hours of questioning, Francesca Chaouqui stands before the Court of the Vatican for being accused of alleged "conspiracy” and "theft and dissemination of news and confidential documents.”
She has denied the allegations of the prosecutor and stressed that, from the beginning, she has collaborated with the investigations.
She explained that in February 2014, with the birth of the Secretariat for the Economy, "a situation” occurred (that she has not specified) that caused a serious distrust within the important Vatican commission that worked on requests of the Pope. At that time, several members of the commission had been named for an official position in the Vatican, while (the defendant) Monsignor Vallejo Balda, also a member of the commission, did not receive any.
Francesca Chaouqui ensures that later "something terrible” (not specified), occurred on May 2014 and that the Pope allegedly asked Vallejo Balda to investigate it. Both, along with another defendant, Nicola Maio, prepared a secret dossier for the Pope.
She says that when Pope Francis read it that he defined it in private as "prophetic” and used it as a guide for his subsequent decisions.
She adds, that in the same week, on June 2014, Cardinal George Pell asked them to immediately hand over the Commissions entire files, including the reserved material dossier, and after that they indefinitely blocked the access to those documents.
The prosecutor has shown an email in which the accused asks Vallejo Balda to print an official watermark letterhead from the Vatican bank, with text that is "dated September 30th.” She says that she thought he had ignored her request. But the prosecutor, showed that the false document was printed and it also included the signature of the then director of the bank. But they did not disclose the contents of the forged document.
She has stated that Vallejo Balda felt abandoned in September 2014 and she tried to cheer him up and also tried to involve him in charitable initiatives.
She has denied that they had any sexual relations, and said that Vallejo Balda revealed to her a "confession about his private life” and out of respect for him, she "will not reveal it." Since then, she claims, he began to "show an eccentric behavior,” so much so, that he began to seek help from an astrologer.
She acknowledged that in April 2015 she introduced him to the journalist Gian Luigi Nuzzi, because the priest wanted the difficulties of his work to be known. She says, the journalist did not press the priest, and Vallejo Balda spontaneously handed him the password to access to the confidential information on the commission.
She said that Vallejo Balda was interviewed with his face covered for an Italian television program on financial issues of the Vatican.
She added some more relevant data, such as that fact, that she has never seriously threatened Vallejo Balda, that she is actively involved in institutions against the mafia, that she is not working for the secret service and that the other accused Nicola Maio has not stolen any documents.