Parolin to be Vatileaks 2 witness

Petition for Balda psychological evaluation rejected

(ANSA) - Vatican City, December 7 - A Holy See court on Monday ruled that the Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin should be called as a witness at the Vatileaks 2 trial. The court granted a request by the defense team of one of the accused, Francesca Chaouqui, to call as witnesses Parolin and Santos Abril y Castellò, the president of the Commission of Cardinals of the Vatican bank, IOR. The court rejected a petition by Chaouqui's lawyers challenging the Vatican's jurisdiction for the case on the grounds that the alleged crimes took place in Italy. The court agreed to the Chaouqui team's request for an expert to analyze electronic communication via email, text and Whatsapp messages between her and Monsignor Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda, a senior Spanish clergyman who is also among the five people in the dock.
    But it rejected a request from Vallejo Balda's lawyers for evaluation of his psychological state. Vallejo Balda and PR expert Chaouqui were both members of the now-defunct COSEA commission set up to advise Pope Francis on reform of the Holy See's economic-administrative structure.
    The trial was then adjourned without a date being set for the next hearing.
    Investigative journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi and Vallejo Balda's former assistant Nicola Maio are also on trial.
    Chaouqui, Balda and Maio are charged with leaking the confidential material and Nuzzi and Fittipaldi with using it in two recently published books - one titled Avarice, the other Merchants in the Temple - documenting alleged Vatican waste and mismanagement and lavish spending by clergymen.
    The trial opened last month and the second hearing last week, like Monday's, was quickly adjourned.