Vatican trial continues after three month delay

Postponed Vatican controversial trial over leaks of confidential documents resumes

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Pope Francis looks on as he addresses his special Jubilee Audience at Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican on March 12, 2016.

Vatican trial of journalists and whistleblowers revealing confidential documents continues on Monday after a three month delay, in the latest installment of an image-tarnishing legal battle. 

The trial was postponed for three months in November to allow experts to recover deleted emails, texts and other evidences.

The courtroom has already been witness to claims of sexually charged scheming, blackmail and computer hacking behind the fortified walls of the secretive city state.

Two journalists will face eight years in prison if the courtroom accuses them of the charges, putting pressure on a Vatican monsignor to obtain the documents and publish them.

The monsignor and two other people are also on trial, accused of giving the information to the journalists.

Francesca Chaouqui, a former PR adviser to the Vatican, is one of the five people accused of leaking classified documents that revealed overspending of the Catholic Church and some top clerics' love of luxury.

She is accused of collaborating with Spanish priest Lucio Vallejo Balda and his assistant Nicola Maio in leaking confidential documents they had access to as members of a commission appointed by Pope Francis to carry out a financial clean-up shortly after his election in 2013.

Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi, the two journalists on trial, have published books based on the documents during the trial.

The Vatican has been criticised of rushing the trial and also that the defendants weren’t getting a fair shake.

Press freedom groups criticised the Vatican for pursuing the prosecution of the two journalists, who say they were only doing their jobs by bringing forth problems that believers and the broader public have a right to know about. 

TRTWorld and agencies