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Pope Francis grants “conditional freedom” to priest convicted for Vatileaks II

2016-12-21

Vallejo Balda, the priest who was sentenced to 18 months of prison has been released. Ahead of Christmas, the pope has granted him "conditional freedom.” 

This does not mean that he receives amnesty or pardon, just that he will serve his time from his home. 

The priest not only will leave the prison in the Vatican, he will also end any kind of professional relationship with the Vatican, and he will return to his original diocese of Astorga (Spain). 

On November 1, 2015, Lucio Ángel Vallejo Balda was arrested for disseminating Holy See confidential documents, including a recording of a pope's private meeting. His immediate collaborator, Italian Francesca Chaouqui, was also arrested. 

After a few months of court proceedings, the priest was sentenced to 18 months of prison on July 2016. His collaborator was sentenced to 10 months, but her sentence was finally suspended. The other accused, including two other journalists, were absolved. 

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