PR consultant Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui arrives for court hearing © ANGELO CARCONI
At Vatican, trial continues over illegal leaking of confidential documents to two journalists. The so-called Vatileaks 2 trial had been suspended for about three weeks.
The reason for this was health problems of the accused, Francesca Chaouqui, who is heavily pregnant. In the last round of the trial in mid-March, the Spanish cleric and former secretary of the Vatican's economic prefecture, Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda, had confessed to leaking internal documents about mismanagement at the Vatican to two journalists, Emiliano Fittipaldi and Gianluigi Nuzzi, who are also on trial. Vallejo Balda claimed to have been threatened and sexually harassed by Chaouqui.
The charges against the two journalists are controversial. Critics see this as an attack on press freedom. A planned protest rally by the Italian journalists' union FNSI in front of the Vatican was banned by the Roman quaestorship. Still, union members demonstrated with banners outside Vatican entrance before trial began.