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Information on the trial for dissemination of reserved information and documents, 16.05.2016

Vatican City, 14 May 2016 – Today, Saturday 14 May, at 9.30 a.m. a further hearing was held in the ongoing trial for the dissemination of reserved information and documents in Vatican City State Tribunal, according to information provided by the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J. It was attended by the members of the Tribunal (Professors Giuseppe Dalla Torre, Piero Antonio Bonnet, Paolo Papanti-Pelletier and Venerando Marano), the Promoter of Justice (Professors Gian Pietro Milano and Roberto Zannotti), and the defendants, Ángel Lucio Vallejo Balda, Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui and Nicola Maio, whereas the defendants Emiliano Fittipaldi and Gianluigi Nuzzi were absent. All five respective legal representatives were present: Emanuela Bellardini, Laura Sgrò, Rita Claudia Baffioni, Lucia Teresa Musso and Roberto Palombi.

The hearing was dedicated fully to the further examination of witnesses, and at the beginning of the hearing an Ordinance was read by which the Tribunal ruled that three of the witnesses requested by Chaouqui's defence – Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, Cardinal Santos Abril y Castelló, archpriest of the Basilica of St. Mary Major, and Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, Almoner of His Holiness – would not be present. Indeed, the Chancellor had received communications from aforementioned three prelates, in which they declared that they would invoke article 248, paragraph 2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, according to which public officials shall not be compelled to give evidence of what has been confided to them as part of their duty, other than in cases in which the law expressly obliges them to inform the public authorities. However, Cardinal Parolin added that he wished to specify that he did not have any information to refer regarding the issue for which he was cited as a witness, namely the relationship between the defendants Vallejo Balda and Chaouqui.

Therefore, the testimonies of three witnesses were heard: Bishop Augusto Paolo Lojudice, auxiliary of Rome, requested by Chaouqui's defence; Roberto Minotti, former head of information technology at the Prefecture for Economic Affairs at the time of the events in question; and Msgr. Alfredo Abbondi, official at the same Prefecture, requested as witnesses by the Promoter of Justice. The witnesses answered questions from the Promoter of Justice, the counsels for the defence and the panel of judges.

Following the interrogation of each witness, the respective report was read and approved. The hearing ended shortly before 3 p.m. The next hearings are scheduled to take place on Monday 16 May at 3.30 p.m., and Tuesday 17 at 10.30, during which the examination of witnesses is expected to continue and to be concluded.