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Vatileaks 2 case: two of the main accused are sentenced

2016-07-07

Just look at how the defendants in the Vatileaks 2.0 case have reacted upon hearing their sentencing.

Of the five accused, three have been acquitted and two have been condemned.

This is how the Vatican Tribunal made their announcement.

"In regards to the accused, Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda, we sentence the accused to a penalty of 18 months of imprisonment.”

The Spanish priest Lucio Ángel Vallejo Balda has been sentenced to 18 months of imprisonment for having revealed confidential documents relating to the fundamental interests of the Holy See.

"In relation to the accused, Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, we sentenced her to 10 months of imprisonment.”

The Italian lay woman, Francesca Chaouqui has been sentenced to 10 months for having collaborated with him. The penalty is suspended for five years and will not be applicable unless she commits any serious crimes during this period. 

Vallejo Balda's private secretary, Nicola Maio, has been acquitted for lack of association in the conspiracy.

The president of the Vatican Tribunal said that the court has no jurisdiction over the two journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi. He recalled that they are both Italian citizens who have committed no crime in the Vatican.

In addition, he mentioned freedom of the press.

...freedom of the press in the Vatican Judicial system.

Both journalists were accused of allegedly pressuring the defendants in order to obtain confidential information about the Pope and the Vatican.

Upon leaving the courtroom, the defendants facial expressions were very different from those most have seen throughout the case.

FRANCESCA CHAOUQUI
"The Court has found me not guilty of divulging any news. When the Pope reads the sentencing, he will know that I have not betrayed him, this is my biggest win. Beyond the sentencing that awaits me and that of absolution... I have never pressured Monsignor Balda; I have not committed any of the crimes, not even the one I was condemned of.”

GIANLUIGI NUZZI
"Today is a historic day, not only for us, chroniclers but for this small state that I have behind me because we have been absolved for having done our jobs as journalists. So there is not only the absence of jurisdiction, as recognized by the Court, but it is recognized that we have done our job, as we have always ensured.”

EMILIANO FITTIPALDI
"The sentence says that we have not committed any crime. Remember the alleged threats and pressures for which we were accused of. We have not committed any crimes by  preparing these books.”

The defendants have three days to appeal the sentence. If this does not happen, it is expected that Vallejo Balda should enter prison in the coming weeks. Some are already talking about a possible papal pardon rather than serving time in jail.
 
Federico Lombardi has highlighted the seriousness and independence of the Vatican's Justice system and considers it a fair, gracious and mostly a very human judgment.


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